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Full text of "William E. Gladstone : statesman and patriot, four times prime minister of England"

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William E. Gladstone 



Statesman anfc patriot 



FOUR TIMES PRIME MINISTER OF ENGLAND. 



It is held 

That valour is the chief est virtue, and 

Most dignifies the haver; if it he, 

The man I speak of cannot in the world 

Be singly counterpoised. 

—Shakespeare. 



BY 

ROMNEY VANE. 



Illustrated by Numerous Rare Engravings. 



CHICAGO: 

DONOHUE, HENNEBERRY & CO. 

407-429 Dearborn St. 



Copyright 1898 

BY 

S. G. Barton. 



71 2009 435 



TRIBUTE TO 

WILLIAM EWART GLADSTONE. 

In the London " Times " May 23, 1898. 

BY 

LEWIS MORRISON. 



Ay, thou hast gained the end 

Of long and glorious strife. 
Consoled by love and friends, 

Thrice blessed life! 
If all the immortal die. 

What gain hath life to give? 
If all the immortal live, 

Death brings no sigh! 



Good knight! No soil of wrong 

Thy spotless shield might stain 
Thy keen sword served thee long, 

And not in vain. 
Oh, high impetuous soul, 

That, mounting to the light, 
Spurnedst the dull world's control 

To gain the right! 



Oh, long life lit with praise 

For duty nobly done, 
High aims, laborious days, 

And the crown won! 
Why should we mourn and weep 

That thou dost toil no more? 
At length God gives thee sleep, 

Thy labors o'er! 



'Mid strife the century dies — 

Massacre, famine, war, 
The noise of groans and sighs 

Is borne afar; 
The monstrous cannon roar, 

The earth, the air, the torn, 
'Mid thunderings evermore 

Time's dawns are born. 



The crying of the weak 

Called not to thee in vain. 
Thy swift tongue burned to speak 

Relief to pain. 
The lightning of thy scorn 

No wrong might long defy. 
Thy truth for lives forlorn — 

Thy piercing eye! 



But thou no more art here, 

But watchest far away, 
Calm in some peaceful sphere, 

The eternal day. 
O, thou who long didst guide 

Our Britain's royal will, 
Invisible at her side 

Aid thou her still I 



O, aged life and blest, 

Wearing thy duteous years, 
Entered thou on thy rest; 
We shed not tears! 
Thou hast thy labors to thy country given. 

Thy eloquent tongue, thy keen untiring brain, 
Thy changeless love of man, thy trust in Heaven, 
Thy crown of pain. 

3 



PREFATORY NOTE. 



It is not at all remarkable that at least twenty authors 
are appealing to the reading public to consider their stories 
of the illustrious career of William Ewart Gladstone; the 
wonder is that there are not a hundred instead of a score. 
Such a story deserves to be told by a thousand lips and 
sketched by a thousand pens. At best, these biographies 
can only be fragmentary, and when in years to come Mr. 
John Morley shall have accomplished his task as Mr. Glad- 
stone's literary trustee, and shall present the world with 
"The Life of Gladstone" — in one cares not how many 
volumes — even then, it is more than probable that a thou- 
sand points of interest will escape the vigilance of that care- 
ful and erudite biographer. If a man should sit down to 
tell the story of his own life, the half would not be told; 
how then can he tell completely the story of the life of an- 
other i 

Notwithstanding the number of those who have entered 
this romantic field of biography, it has seemed good to me 
also to offer a Life of Gladstone, especially addressed to 
American readers. My memory stretches over the main 
periods of Mr. Gladstone's public career. In the morning 
of my years my enthusiastic admiration for the great states- 
man took on the form of homage which grew in depth and 
sincerity during ten stirring years through which I was per- 
mitted the privilege of following and working where Mr. 
Gladstone led. I regarded him then, and I regard him now 
as the ideal political leader. I believe no greater English- 
man has lived for a thousand years. During the many 
years in which I have enjoyed the privileges of citizenship 

4 



PREFATORY NOTE. 5 

in these United States, I have watched Mr. Gladstone's 
career with intense delight, regretting most sincerely that 
he never found the opportunity of visiting his < < kin beyond 
the sea." Had he ever set his firm foot upon our hospita- 
ble shores, he would have had a welcome that would have 
echoed from Cape Cod to the Golden Gate, and from the 
mountains to the sea. But, "the golden bowl is broken," 
and Mr. Gladstone sleeps the long, dreamless sleep in the 
great Abbey where kings and warriors and priests lie sleep- 
ing. 

I am ambitious to lay my wreath on the great statesman's 
grave, and to tell to my American fellow-citizens, as best I 
may, the story of that great, full-orbed life that has be- 
come a deathless legacy to his country, and a glory to our 
age. 

Romney Vane. 



CONTENTS. 



CHAPTER I. 
Gladstone and the Nineteenth Century 11 

CHAPTER II. 
Birth of the Great Commoner .... 16 

CHAPTER III. 

Memories of Early Days 24 

CHAPTER IV. 
School Days at Eton 29 

CHAPTER V. 
Student Life at Oxford 37 

CHAPTER VI. 
Member of Parliaiuent for Newark 46 

CHAPTER VII. 
Early Speeches in Parliament . 55 

CHAPTER VIII. 
Early Speeches in Parliament— Continued 68 

CHAPTER IX. 
The Young Minister of State 72 

CHAPTER X. 
Accession and Coronation of Queen Victoria 79 

CHAPTER XI. 
The Busy Private Member 88 

CHAPTER XII. 
The Champion of the Church 96 

CHAPTER XIII. 
Wedding Bells 104 

CHAPTER XIV. 

At Work in Earnest: Repeal of the Corn Laws Ill 

7 



CONTENTS. 

CHAPTER XV. 
The Bkitish House of Commons— A Sketch 121 

CHAPTER XVI. 
Member for Oxford 130 

CHAPTER XVII. 
Rejected by Oxford — Liberal Leader 177 

CHAPTER XVIII. 
The Great Work of Reform 188 

CHAPTER XIX. 
Humors of the Old Election Days 199 

CHAPTER XX. 
Disestablishment and Disendowment of the Irish Church. . . 211 

CHAPTER XXI. 

Year of Wonderful Progress 222 

CHAPTER XXII. 

Home Rule 252 

CHAPTER XXIII. 

The Midlothian Manifesto 265 

CHAPTER XXIV. 

Ireland: Mr. Gladstone's Home Rule Bill 281 

CHAPTER XXV. 

The Champion of the Greeks , , , . , 300 

CHAPTER XXVI. 
Home Life at H awarden Castle 306 

CHAPTER XXVII. 
Sunset and Evening Star 315 



EULOGIES OF THE GREAT STATESMAN. 



Those who knew Mr. Gladstone most loved him best; in 
proof of which, witness these ungrudging testimonies of 
those who fought with him side by side or in opposition in 
the great political conflict in which he engaged. 

Salisbury, Balfour, Devonshire, Harcourt, Roseberry, 
Dillon. 

"He will leave behind him the memory of a great Christian states- 
man, whose character, motives and intentions could not fail to strike 
all the world. He will leave a deep, a most salutary influence on the 
political and social thought of the generation in which he lived, and 
he will be long remembered, not so much for the causes in which he 
was engaged, or the political projects he favored, but as a great ex- 
ample of which history hardly furnishes a parallel — of a great Chris- 
tian man." — Lord Salisbury. 

" He brought to our debates a genius which compelled attention, 
he raised in the public estimation the whole level of our proceedings, 
and they will be most ready to admit the infinite value of this ser- 
vice, who realize how much the public prosperity is involved in the 
maintenance of the worth of public life and how perilously difficult 
most democracies apparently feel it to be to avoid the opposite dan- 
gers into which so many of them have fallen." — Right Hon. L. J. Bal- 
four. 

" Deeply as we regret the difference of opinion which caused the 
separation between Mr. Gladstone and many of those who had been 
his most devoted adherents, we never doubted and we do not now 
doubt, that in that as in every other matter with which during his 
long public life he had to deal, he was actuated by no other consid- 
eration than that of a sense of public duty and by his conception of 
that which was in the highest interests of hi country." — The Duke of 
Devonshire. 

" His life has been a lesson which has not been, and will not be, 
forgotten. There is not a hamlet in this land where his virtues are 
not known and felt. They feel that his heart was ever with the 
weak, the miserable and the poor. They remember how much of his 





10 EULOGIES OF THE GREAT STATESMAN. 

life was spent in labors to alleviate their lot. They know that to 
him they were always his flesh and blood. His sympathies were not 
confined by any narrow bounds. The ruling" passions of his heart 
were freedom and peace — freedom not only for his own, but for every 
people, and peace with freedom — the glad tidings of great joy, the 
gospel of that religion to which he was devotedly attached. His 
voice went forth, wherever they might dwell, to all who were deso- 
late and oppressed." — Sir William V. Har court. 

" There was no man, I suspect, in the history of England — no 
man, at any rate, in recent centuries, who touched the intellectual 
life of the country at so many points and over so great a range of 
years. But that was in fact and reality not merely a part of his in- 
tellect, but of his character; for the first and most obvious feature of 
Mr. Gladstone's character was the universality and the humanity of 
his sympathy. I do not now mean, as we all know, that he sympa- 
thized with great causes and with oppressed nations and with what 
he believed to be the cause of liberty all over the world, but I do 
mean his sympathy with all classes of human beings from the high- 
est to the lowest." — Lord Uoseberry. 

"Even when racked with pain and with the shadow of death 
darkening over him, his heart still yearned towards the people of 
Ireland, and his last public utterance was a message of sympathy for 
Ireland and of hope for her future. His was a great and doep nature. 
He loved the people with a wise and persevering love His love of 
the people and his abiding fa'th in the efficacy of lib rty and of govern- 
ment based on the consent of the people, as an instrument of human 
progress, were not the outcome of youthful enthusiasm, but the 
deep-rooted growth of long years, and drew their vigor from an 
almost unparalleled experience of men and affairs. Mr. Gladstone 
was the greatest Englishmen of his time; he loved his own people as 
much as any Englishman who ever lived; but through communion 
with the hearts of his own people he acquired that greater, wider 
gift, the power of understanding and sympathising with other peo- 
ples." — John Dillon, M. P., in behalf of Ireland. 



CHAPTER I. 



GLADSTONE AND THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 

Time is eternity. 
Pregnant with all eternity can give, 
Pregnant with all that makes archangels smile. 

— Edward Yong. 

We are fast coming to the close of the greatest century 
of all the years of time. Every decade of these later years 
has been richer in direct influence on the well-being of 
humanity than any century of the years of old. Science, 
art, literature, religion, social life have all made such mar- 
velous strides that the world of 1898 seems altogether an- 
other kind of world from that of 1800. No period of the 
world's history has been as productive of great men and 
women in every department of life as this great cycle which 
is now hastening to a glorious close. On the bench and at 
the bar; in the pulpit and on the throne; in the laboratory 
of the scientist and in the boundless fields of exploration; 
in the dreamland of the poet and the cloister of the saint; 
by the furnace fires of the inventor and the campfires of 
the warrior; in the legislative halls of the nations and at the 
desks of seminaries, schools and colleges; in the marts of 
commerce and in the factories of toil — great men and 
women are to be found in crowds and throngs: greater men 
and women than the world has ever seen before. This is 
an age of the sons of Anak, the pygmies are dreams of the 
dead past, the age of the giants has come. 

11 



12 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

One of the greatest of all the names of this century is 
the name of William Ewart Gladstone. An American lady 
writing of him says: 

There have been intellects more brilliant, leaders more dashing" 
and magnetic, but there is no other man of the century who has com- 
bined in himself the qualities of statesman, orator, political financier, 
scholar, author, friend of humanity, and illustrator of the highest 
virtues of domestic and public life. There has been no other man 
who has better shown that highest form of moral courage, the stand- 
ing firmly for what is believed to be right, though such a stand de- 
prives him of office and public favor. There has been no other life 
of this, or perhaps of any century, so filled with splendid achieve- 
ments and so consecrated to high purposes. 

The years of Mr. Gladstone's life have run parallel with 
the years of the century, and in those years he has exerted 
a wonderful influence. They have been what they were 
very largely because he was what he was. The clay bears 
the impress of the potter's hand, and master minds are 
moulders of the centuries. It was Mr. Gladstone's hand' 
that let loose the half-imprisoned genius of freedom, and 
gave to England civil and religious liberty. It was Mr. 
Gladstone who dared to preach the grand political gospel, 
on which our great Republic is builded — that the toiler in 
the factory and the mill, and the prince in his palace and 
the nobleman on his wide domains, are equal. i t Are they 
not, ' ' he said, in the midst of aristocratic sneers, referring 
to the working classes of England, "your own flesh and 
blood?" What his friend Lord Tennyson sung, Mr. Glad- 
stone beat into the unwilling brains of the frivolous and 
prejudiced among the English aristocracy: 

Howe'er it be, it seems to me 

'Tis only noble to be good; 

Kind hearts are more than coronets 

And simple faith than Norman blood. 

It will be the purpose of the following pages to set in 
order the story of Mr. Gladstone's great public career. 
But Mr. Gladstone will have an abiding place in the heart 
of the world because of his kind and gentle spirit. Never 






GLADSTONE AND THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 13 

did a heart beat with warmer human sympathies than the 
heart of him who was four times Prime Minister of 
England. Behind the statesman stood the man, quick to 
sympathize and quick to help. A thousand illustrations 
might be cited — let one or two suffice. 

It is January the 7th, 1885„ Prince Victor, Duke of 
Clarence, will reach his majority to-morrow. He is the 
prospective heir to the throne of England. Mr. Gladstone 
writes a letter of congratulation to the young prince; and in 
every line and between the lines the father's heart is beat- 
ing tenderly for the royal lad who to-morrow will be a man. 
Let us read the letter. It is doubly interesting now, see- 
ing that prince and statesman have both passed into the 

silent land: 

Hawarden Castle, January 7, 1885. 
Sir: As the oldest among* the confidential servants of Her Majesty, 
I cannot allow the anniversary to pass without a notice which will 
to-morrow bring* your Royal Highness to full age; and thus mark an 
important epoch in your life. The hopes and intentions of those 
whose lives lie, like mine, in the past, are of little moment; but they 
have seen much and what they have seen suggests much for the 
future. There lies before your Royal Highness in prospect the occu- 
pation, I trust at a distant date, of a throne, which, to me at least, 
appears the most illustrious in the world, from its history and asso- 
ciations, from its legal basis, from the weight of the cares it brings, 
from the royal love of the people, and from the unparalleled oppor- 
tunities it gives, in so many ways and in so many regions, of doing* 
g*ood to the almost countless numbers whom the Almig*hty has placed 
beneath the sceptre of England. 

I fervently desire and pray, and there cannot be a mere animating 
prayer, that your Royal Highness may ever grow in the principles 
of conduct, and may be adorned with all the qualities which corres- 
pond with this great and noble vocation. 

And, sir, if the sovereignty has been relieved by our modern in- 
stitutions of some of its burdens, it still, I believe, remains true that 
there has been no period of the world's history at which successors 
to monarchy could more efficaciously contribute to the stability of a 
great historic system, dependent even more upon love than upon 
strength, by devotion to their duties, and by a bright example to the 
country. This result we have happily been permitted to see, and 
other generations will, I trust, witness it anew. 

Heartily desiring that in the life of your Royal Highness every 
private and personal good may be joined with every public blessing, 
I have the honor to remain, sir, 

Your Royal Highness's most dutiful and faithful servant, 

W. E. Gladstone, 



14 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

The kind fatherly heart that prompted this letter was the 
same heart that prompted him to visit again and again the 
bedside of a poor crossing-sweeper, and on bended knees to 
breathe words of prayer and lift the cross of hope before 
the eyes of the dying boy. The same heart that led him to 
plead with the sons of an old friend, plead with frequent 
and pityful entreaty, that for their dear father's sake they 
would quit the paths of folly and lead a noble life, and he 
did not plead in vain. 

One of the elements of character that endeared Mr. Glad- 
stone to all hearts was the grand catholicity of spirit that 
made him appreciative of all good work by whomsoever 
wrought. As an example, it is worthy of note that Mr. 
Spurgeon, the prince of English preachers, a Nonconform- 
ist of the Nonconformists, an avowed opponent of the 
Church as by law established, more than once received 
words of kindness and encouragement from this great 
churchman and statesman. He respected the sower who 
sowed good seed, and did good work in the world, by what- 
ever name he was called. And it will interest the admirers 
of Mr. Gladstone and the friends of Mr. Spurgeon alike, to 
know that on the occasion of Mr. Spurgeon 's last illness the 
great statesman wrote the following letter of condolence to 
Mrs. Spurgeon: 

Hawarden, July 17, 1891. 

My Dear Madam: In my own home, darkened at the present 
time, I have read with studied interest daily accounts of Mr. Spur- 
g-eon's illness; and I cannot help conveying- to you the earnest assur- 
ance of my sympathy with you and with him; and of my cordial ad- 
miration of his splendid powers, but still more of his devoted and 
unfailing- character. May I humbly commend you and him in all 
contingencies to the infinite stores of the Divine love and mercy, and 
subscribe myself, my dear madam, 

Faithfully yours, 

W. E. Gladstone. 
Mrs. Spurgeon immediately responded, and the dying 
preacher summoned his failing powers to write the follow- 



GLADSTONE AND THE NINETEENTH CENTURY. 15 

ing postscript which was probably one of the last efforts of 

the preacher's busy pen: 

p # s. — Yours is a word of love such as those only write who have 
been into the King's country, and have seen much of His face. My 
heart's love to you.— C. H. Spurgeon. 

It is hardly necessary here to refer to Mr. Gladstone's 

profound religious character. Later on we shall see him 

in the early mornings, walking to the hamlet church to share 

in the sacred communion. The spirit that possessed him 

may be gathered from these beautiful stanzas from one of 

the devotional hymns he wrote: 

O lead my blindness by the hand, 

Lead me to thy familiar feast; 
Not here and now to understand, 

Yet even here and now to taste, 
How the eternal Word of Heaven 
On earth in broken bread is given. 

* * * * 

O let the virtue all divine, 

The gift of this true Sabbath morn, 
Stored in my spirit's inner shrine, 

Be purely and be meekly borne, 
Be husbanded with thrifty care 
And sweetened and refreshed with prayer. 

Archdean Farrar, who knew him well, speaks of him as 
"the highest type of Christian gentleman" he had ever 
known. 

He has passed from these scenes of time, but his name 

and his fame and the wise words he has spoken will 

never die. 

What wreaths that cannot fade 

Upon thy bier are laid! 

Greece weeps her truest friend, and Italy 

Remembers thee in tears; 

Bulgaria, Armenia mourn for thee, 

Friend of their friendless years, 

One radiant Form appears, 

Smiling while she weeps — 'tis Liberty! 

O chieftain true and rare! 

Sleep! We have not forgot, 

Within ten thousand hearts thy hopes shall move, 

Thy spirit slumbers not. 



CHAPTER II. 

BIRTH OF THE GREAT COMMONER. 

" Life is the gift of God and is divine." — H. W. Longfellow. 

William Ewart Gladstone first saw the light at his fath- 
er's home, 62 Rodney street, Liverpool, on the 29th of 
December, 1809. He was the third son. It was the habit 
of Mr. John Gladstone to discuss all manner of questions 
with his children; nothing was taken for granted between 
him and his sons. A succession of arguments on great 




GLADSTONE'S BIRTHPLACE. 

topics and small topics alike — arguments conducted with 
the most good humor, but also with the most implacable 
logic — formed the staple of the family conversation. Such 
conditions were pre-eminently calculated to mould the 

16 



BIRTH AND BOYHOOD. 17 

thoughts and direct the course of an intelligent and recep- 
tive nature. There was the father's masterful will and 
keen perception, the sweetness and piety of the mother, 
wealth with all its substantial advantages and few of its 
mischiefs, a strong sense of the value of money, a rigid 
avoidance of extravagance and excess, everywhere strenu- 
ous purpose in life, constant employment and concentrated 
ambition. 

"In William Ewart Gladstone we have the same restless 
energy, the same sympathy with struggling nationalities, 
the same business aptitude, the same appreciation of great 
men, the same far-sightedness, and also the same longevity. 
The great qualities of the father have been modified by 
surrounding circumstances, but the generic similarity is 
conspicuous. It was amid surroundings such as we have 
indicated that W. E. Gladstone began life. The father's 
active participation in parliamentary contests opened wide 
the door for the buzz of political questions at his house. It 
also created the conditions for the familiar association and 
intercourse with men of high quality and large caliber. It 
is easy to understand how the teaching and influence of a 
man of genius like George Canning should remain a per- 
manent factor in the intellectual development of a young 
lad. It became then, as it has remained since, an important 
influence in the evolution of a great career." 

Speaking of Mr. Gladstone's ancestors, who were entirely 
Scotch, being proprietors of a moderate property near the 
town of Biggar, in Lanarkshire, Mr. George W. E. Rus- 
sell says : ' i The title of the estate from which they took 
their name was Gledstane, afterward modernized to Glad- 
stone. This patrimony dates back some six hundred years, 
but during the last century or two the family history runs 
on different lines. The grandfather of William Ewart 
Gladstone was a corn merchant at Leith, and in the course 
of his business had a shipload of corn consigned to him. The 



18 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

vessel conveying the grain arrived in due course at Liver- 
pool, and his eldest son, John, was dispatched to that town 
to carry out the sale. The skill and aptitude exhibited by 
the young Scotchman in carrying through the business 
attracted the attention of one of the leading corn merchants, 
on whose advice he settled there. He commenced his busi- 
ness career as a clerk in his friend and patron's house, and 
lived to become a principal partner in the firm, and one of 
the leading merchants of Liverpool. His career was suc- 
cessful throughout ; he was at once a keen and active poli- 
tician, a generous philanthropist, and a splendid man of 
business. He was always in earnest, and had built up his 
position in life by shrewd sense, great activity and unsul- 
lied honor. These great qualities, combined with a restless 
energy, naturally brought him to the front in all matters 
connected with the town of Liverpool. In politics he was 
to all intents and purposes a Liberal-Conservative of those 
days. In 1812 he presided over a meeting called for the 
purpose of inviting Canning to become a candidate for the 
borough. The contest which ensued laid the foundation of 
a life-long friendship between John Gladstone and George 
Canning. The influence of his great friend converted Mr. 
Gladstone to Conservative principles, and in 1819 he entered 
the House of Commons, repiesenting in succession Lancas- 
ter, Woodstock and Berwick. Mr. John Gladstone was, by 
Sir Robert Peel, created a baronet in 1845, and died in 18ol 
at the ripe age of eighty-eight. 

The England on which Mr. Gladstone opened his eyes had 
made very little material progress since the days of Queen Eliz- 
abeth. Travel and means of transportation were at the tedious 
rate common to the days of the Patriarch Job, when "the 
camel was for safety and the horse for speed. " There were 
"fast stage coaches," as men then counted fastness. But 
the omnipotence of the monarch we call " Steam" was only 
"a dream of hair-brained fanatics." It was nevertheless 



BIRTH AND BOYHOOD. 19 

a dream destined to become wonderfully true. There was no 
system of public government education; but the rate-payers 
were compelled to support paupers. Almost everything 
was taxed from the cradle to the grave. There were church 
taxes, window taxes, cart-wheel taxes, horse taxes, taxes on 
malt, taxes on hair-powder and taxes on silver plate. More 
than seventeen hundred articles were subject to taxation. 
There were taxes on the ribbon of the bride, and on the 
brass nails of the coffin. The man who indulged in 
horse riding in those days had to ride a taxed horse with a 
taxed bridle along a taxed road. It was a land of beauti- 
ful liberty and abounding taxation. And, as Sydney Smith 
said, the great hope of the Englishman was that when at 
last life's pilgrimage was ended he would < i be gathered to 
his fathers, and enter a land of rest and peace where he 
would be taxed no more." 

But England was nursing noble souls when this century 
was young. The temple of literature was thronged with 
such men as Scott and Byron, Wordsworth and Coleridge, 
Southey and Shelley and Keats, Campbell and Lamb ; and 
by the sluggish tides of the Mersey a cradle w T as being 
rocked in which lay a smiling boy destined to be the glory 
of his country, the honor of his age. 

It is not mere idle curiosity that longs to know all 
that can be told of the early days of illustrious men. 

By a most happy accident we have fallen upon some very 
pleasant reminiscences of Mr. Gladstone's boyhood days by 
one of the very few surviving comrades of those far away 
years. Mr. Graham and Mr. Gladstone were boys 
together. 

The great Commoner of England outlived most of his con- 
temporaries. Those men who were privileged to listen to 
his first parliamentary utterances are now few and far be- 
tween. The companions of his boyhood, even of his ripen- 
ing manhood, have practically disappeared. How very few 



20 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

are left who can say ' ' I remember Gladstone as a lad " — 
fewer still, "I remember Gladstone as a boy!" 

But Dingwall, that far northern royal burgh, famous as 
being the place which Mr. Gladstone's mother claimed as 
being "her town," and over which, in matters municipal, 
Mr. Robertson (Mr. Gladstone's grandfather) presided, 
lays claim to possessing among its townsmen one who, as a 
boy, romped with Mr. Gladstone, took part in his boyish 
games, and discussed with him the problems of child's 
imagination. If England has in Mr. Gladstone a " Grand 
Old Man," Dingwall has a " Grand Old Man" in Mr. Gra- 
ham. That venerable and worthy gentleman for a long 
period of years acted as local poor inspector, and, though 
past eighty, he is still possessed of powers, mental and 
physical, that are the envy of many men not more than 
half his age. Mr. Graham's likeness to Mr. Gladstone is 
remarkable. 

" Excuse me, sir," said a friend to him, "but how like 
Mr. Gladstone you are! " 

Mr. Graham, with an ever-ready laugh, retorted that, not 
only was he like Mr. Gladstone, but he had the pleasure of 
knowing him as a boy. 

"I visited Mr. Graham the other evening, " says a recent 
writer, i 'and on glancing around the snug room in which we 
sat together I noted no fewer than four portraits of Mr. 
Gladstone laid open to view. One represented him at the 
age of three score and ten; another when he had, as Mr. 
Graham aptly put it, 'crossed the line,' (that is eighty 
years) ; another represents him as taken quite recently along 
with Mrs. Gladstone; and in a fourth he stands before a 
Midlothian audience in his recent campaign, exhorting them, 
in one of his most fervid perorations, ' not to put their 
trust in squires, in parsons, nor in acres, but to listen to the 
voice of the people's will, and stand by Ireland in her 
attempt to realize her aspirations. ' " 



BIRTH AND BOYHOOD. 21 

Filled even now with boyish life and vitality, and pos- 
sessing a memory and imagination as fresh and keen as ever 
he has known them to be, Mr. Graham plunged into many 
interesting reminiscences of his early youth. His quick 
eye caught sight of the large portrait of Mr. Gladstone that 
lay beside us near the window. 

A glimpse at the familiar face of the venerable statesman 
served to put his memory on the proper rails, and the old 
gentleman, rising from his seat and pointing at the portrait, 
said : ' ' Isn't that like him ? But, oh, he is changed since 
I knew him first ! You need not look surprised, for I knew 
Mr. Gladstone seventy years since. We were playmates 
here in Dingwall together, and many a happy day have we 
spent in each other's company." 

And, so saying, Mr. Graham shot his memory back over 
the long vista of seven decades and gave me his impressions 
of Mr. Gladstone as a boy. Mr. Graham was a special 
favorite with Mr. Gladstone's mother. During the summer 
vacation she used to bring her boys to Dingwall on a visit 
to their relatives and friends there, and on such occasions 
she invariably sent for "the little boy Graham" to keep 
the youngsters company. 

" Willie was always my favorite," said he, " and, though 
he was a couple of years older than I was, we were close 
companions during those long and happy summer days. We 
would scamper along the country roads together, both of us 
nimbler in the feet than we now are, I warrant ; we would 
explore the woods together, go in together for all forms of 
sport and frolic, and often even take our meals together." 

"And, Mr. Graham," I asked, " was there any thing about 
the boy that was remarkable — was the child, so to speak, 
father to the man? " Mr. Graham replied that, even to his 
child mind, there did always seem a charm about the boy 
Gladstone. His mind was as alert as his body, and he never 
lost a chance to extract information from things the most 



22 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

commonplace. "He was so inquisitive," remarked the old 
gentleman, laughingly, < ' he was never content with a simple 
answer to a question, but probed everything to the very 
bottom ere he appeared anything like satisfied." From 
what Mr. Graham said, it appears that Willie Gladstone 
delighted to tear all sorts of subjects to shreds, and then, 
microscopically, to examine each shred separately, as he 
plied questions with the vieAV of eliciting answers. 

"X remember," said Mr. Graham, "we were one day 
standing together watching the operation of potato plant- 
ing, and we fell on discussing the proper distance that should 
be given between the plants. We argued the subject out to 
our own satisfaction, and when he had pumped all the infor- 
mation possible on the point from me, I was highly amused 
to see him take from his pocket a memorandum book, in 
which he took a note of all the information he had gained 
on the subject. This note book he called into requisition 
very often, jotting down scraps of information gained from 
day to day, and making memoranda of the most common- 
place subjects." 

"And what kind of a companion did young Gladstone 
make?" I asked. 

"He was always lively," replied Mr. Graham, "always 
thirsting after instruction, and delighted in prying into the 
root of things. But he was not so eager for fun and trick- 
ery as I was, but would often be thoughtful. And nothing 
pleased him more than reading. He would go and buy a 
treatise or tract on some special subject, and pore over it, 
mastering its contents. He was a queer fellow that way," 
added the old gentleman, laughing. 

Then came the rehearsal of an interesting incident of their 
Sunday-school experiences, in which young Graham, on one 
occasion at least, proved "too many" for young Gladstone. 
The task submitted to the scholars was the formidable one 
of repeating from beginning to end the 119th Psalm, and 






BIRTH AND BOYHOOD. 23 

Mr. Graham still distinctly remembers the keen interest 
taken in the feat by Mrs. Gladstone, whose memory he 
cherishes. It is no mean tribute to his powers of memory 
as a child that he was the only scholar who succeeded in 
performing the task successfully. "That was no little 
thing for a wee boy to do, was it?" laughed Mr. Graham. 
At least I can say that I did what even a Gladstone failed 
to do, and what I would certainly fail to do now, I fear." 
Mr. Graham mentioned a circumstance in connection with 
Mr. Gladstone in those days which, however trivial it may 
have seemed at the time, was, in the light of subsequent 
histcry, prophetic. Just as Mr. Gladstone knows now how 
to take care of our national finance, and how to put our 
resources to the best advantage, he seemed, even as a boy, 
to be entrusted by his mother, to some extent, with the 
household purse. Said Mr. Graham, " Mrs. Gladstone 
used to say laughingly, 'Go to the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer [meaning her son William], and tell him to give 
me some money.'" 



CHAPTER in. 

MEMORIES OF EARLY DAYS. 

O, years, gone down into the past, 
What pleasant memories come to me. 

— Phoebe Cary. 

Strange to me are the forms I meet, 
When I visit the dear old town, 
But the native air is pure and sweet 
And the trees that o'ershadow each well-known street, 
As they balance up and down, 
Are singing 1 the beautiful song : 
" A boy's will is the wind's will, 
And the thoughts of youth are long." 

— H. W. Longfellow. 

Mr. Gladstone was possessed of a most wonderful mem- 
ory. It was perfectly phenomenal in its scope and reten- 
tiveness. It served the great statesman and scholar as a 
sacred treasure house, to which he has committed ten thou- 
sand facts in compact and orderly arrangement. It is said 
of Mr. Gladstone that "he never forgets." After he had 
reached his eighty-fourth year, he, at the wish of some 
friends, began recalling the memory of early days. He 
went back to the days of his boyhood and bid the dead past 
reappear. So pleasant and interesting are these reminis- 
cences that we can not resist the temptation of presenting a 
few of them here, seeing that they refer to events and 
impressions of his very early years. 

Mr. Gladstone called to mind the grand old coaching days, 
when the Tony Wellers of the time were men of very con- 
siderable importance. "The system was raised," he said, 
' ' to the highest degree of perfection, far exceeding that of 
anything of the \dnd to be met with on the Continent." 

24 



MEMOKIES OF EARLY DAYS. 25 

When a boy, going to school at Eton, between the years 
1820 and 1830, he went from Liverpool to Eton by coach. 
The coach changed at Birmingham. He gives this graphic 
description of the scene, after the lapse of three score years 
and ten : ; ' Our coach used to arrive at Birmingham about 
3 or 4 o'clock in the morning, when we were turned out into 
the street till it might please a new coach with a new 
equipment to appear. There was no building in the town, 
great or small, public or private, at that period, upon 
which it was possible for a rational being to fix his eye with 
any degree of satisfaction." Mr. Gladstone lived to see 
this same Birmingham one of the most beautiful cities upon 
the face of the earth. He remembered Edinburgh in the 
days of Lord Moncrieff, of Dr. Gordon, of Dr. Thomson 
and Bishop Sandford. 

He speaks in these early reminiscences pleasantly and 
gratefully of some weeks spent in Edinburgh and the neigh- 
borhood with that prince of Scottish preachers Dr. Chal- 
mers, whose wonderful " Astronomical Discourses" 
marked him out as one of the greatest intellectual giants the 
pulpit of Scotland had seen since the days of the immortal 
John Knox. 

Speaking at a great meeting in Dundee in 1890, Mr. 
Gladstone gave some interesting memoirs of the condition 
of commerce in his boyhood. This memory serves to indi- 
cate how strongly the love of the beautiful had possession 
of him in his early youth : 

"It is hardly an exaggeration to say," Mr. Gladstone 
observed, * < that at the time when I was a youth of ten or 
fifteen years of age there was hardly anything that was 
beautiful produced in this country. I remember at a 
period of my life, when I was about eighteen, I was taken 
over to see a silk factory in Macclesfield. At that time Mr. 
Huskisson, whose name ought always to be remembered 
with respect among all sound economists, and the govern- 



26 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

merit of Lord Liverpool had been making the first efforts, 
not to break down — that was reserved for their happier 
followers — but to lessen, to modify, or perhaps I should say, 
to mitigate, a little if possible, the protective system. Down 
to the period of Mr. Huskisson silk handkerchiefs from 
France were prohibited. They were largely smuggled, and 
no gentleman went over to Paris, without, if he could man- 
age it, bringing back in his pockets, his purse, his port- 
manteau, his hat or his great-coat, handkerchiefs and gloves. 
But Mr. Huskisson carried a law in which, in lieu of this 
prohibition of these French articles, a duty of 30 per cent, 
was imposed on them, and it is in my recollection that there 
was a keener detestation of Mr. Huskisson, and a more 
violent passion roused against him in consequence of that 
mild, initial measure than ever was associated in the other 
camp, in the protectionist camp, within the career of Cob- 
den and Bright. I was taken to this manufactory, and they 
produced the English silk handkerchief they were in the 
habit of making, and which they thought it cruel to be 
competed with by the silk handkerchiefs of France, although 
even before they were allowed to compete the French man- 
ufacturer had to pay the fine of 30 per cent, on the value. 
It was in that first visit to a manufactory at Macclesfield 
that — I will not say I became a free trader, for it was ten 
or fifteen years later when I entered into the full faith of 
that policy — but from what I saw then there dawned on my 
mind the first ray of light. What I thought when they 
showed me these handkerchiefs was : How detestable they 
really are, and what in the world can be the object of coax- 
ing, nursing, coddling up manufacturers to produce goods 
such as those, which you ought to be ashamed of exhib- 
iting. " 

It will interest many readers who are personally familiar 
with North Wales, who have seen the sun rise over Snow- 
den's crest and Conway's castled towers, and Avho have spent 



MEMORIES OF EARLY DAYS. 27 

many happy hours at those grand " watering places," Rhyl, 
Llandudno, Bangor and Canarvon, which we should desig- 
nate " Summer Resorts," to hear Mr. Gladstone tell of 
traveling along the North Wales coast as far as Bangor and 
Carnarvon, when there was no such thing as a watering 
place, no such thing as a house to be hired for the purpose 
of those visits that are now paid by thousands of people to 
such multitudes of points all along the coast. It was sup- 
posed that if ever any body of gentlemen could be found 
sufficiently energetic to make a railway to Holyhead, that 
railway could not possibly pierce the country, and must be 
made along the coast, and, if carried along the coast, could 
not possibly be made to pay. So firm was that conviction 
that " I well recollect the day, " Mr. Gladstone, added * ' when 
a large and important deputation of railway leaders went to 
London and waited upon Sir Robert Peel, who was then 
Prime Minister, in order to demonstrate to him that it was 
totally impossible for them to construct a paying line, and 
therefore to impress upon his mind the necessity of his agree- 
ing to give them a considerable grant out of the consoli- 
dated fund. Sir Robert Peel was a very circumspect states- 
man, and not least so in those matters in which the public 
purse was concerned. He encouraged them to take a more 
sanguine view. Whether he persuaded them into a more 
sanguine tone of mind I do not know. This I know, the 
railway was made, and we now understand that this humble 
railway, this impossible railway, as it was then conceived, 
is at the present moment the most productive and remuner- 
ative part of the whole vast system of the North Western 
Railway Company." 

Of the Liverpool of his boyhood, Mr. Gladstone said: 
"When my recollections of her were most familiar, she 
was a town of one hundred thousand persons, and the silver 
cloud of smoke which floated above her resembled that which 
might appear over any secondary borough or village of the 



28 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

country. I refer to the period between 1810 and 1820, and 
it is especially to the latter part of period that my memory 
extends. I used as a small boy to look southward along 
shore from my father's windows at Seaforth to the town. 
In those days the space between Liverpool and Seaforth 
was very differently occupied. Four miles of the most 
beautiful sands that I ever knew offered to the aspirations 
of the youthful rider the most delightful method of finding 
access to Liverpool, and he had the other inducement to 
pursue that road, that there was no other decent avenue to 
the town. Bootle I remember a wilderness of sand hills. 
I have seen wild roses growing upon the very ground which 
is now the center of the borough. All that land is now 
partly covered with residences, and partly with places of 
business and industry. In my time but one single house 
stood upon the space between Rimrose brook and the town 
of Liverpool. I rather think it was associated with the 
name of Statham, if my memory serves me right, the name 
of the town clerk of Liverpool." 

He told also on this occasion a pleasant and romantic story 
of Hannah More, which links Mr. Gladstone with a far dis- 
tant past. 

"I believe," he said, "I was four years old at the time, 
and I remember Hannah More presented me with one of 
her little books — not uninteresting for children — she told 
me she gave it to me because c I had just come into the 
world and she was just going out.'" 



CHAPTER IV. 

SCHOOL DAYS AT ETON. 

Ah, happy hills ! Ah, pleasing shade ! 

Ah, fields beloved in vain ! 

Where once my careless childhood strayed, 

A stranger yet to pain ! 

I feel the gales that from ye blow, 

A momentary bliss bestow, 

As waving fresh their gladsome wing, 

My weary soul they seem to soothe ; 

And, redolent of joy and youth, / 

To breathe a second spring ! 

— Gray's Ode on Eton College. 

The father of Mr. Gladstone was not slow to recognize 
the brilliant mental powers of his gifted son, and wide 
awake to the grand opportunities that lay in the path of 
every earnest youth, he resolved to aid him in every possi- 
ble way to fit himself for a career of usefulness and honor. 
To this end the boy Gladstone was entered a scholar in the 
famous Eton College in September, 1821, being then in his 
thirteenth year. The dew of early youth was on his brow, 
and he was declared to be " the prettiest little boy that 
ever went to Eton." As a scholar he was by common con- 
sent acknowledged to be God-fearing and conscientious, 
pure-minded and courageous, and humane. He was never 
seen to run, but was fond of sculling, and even then given 
to that fast walking which he has practiced all his life. At 
school he distinguished himself by turning his glass upside 
down and refusing to drink a coarse toast at an election din- 
ner, and for having protested against the torture of certain 
wretched animals which were then regarded as fair game on 

Ash Wednesday. Some of his schoolfellows, failing to 

2y 



30 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

appreciate this early evidence of his chivalrous disposition, 
Mr. Gladstone offered to write his reply in good round hand 
upon their faces. In the school debating society he natu- 
rally took a high place. In one of his earliest recorded 
speeches, he declares that his " prejudices and his predilec- 
tions have long been entitled on the side of toryism." So 
tory was he that, seeing a colt of the name of Hampden 
entered for the Derby between two horses named Zeal and 
Lunacy, he declared he was in his proper place, for Hamp- 
den in those days was to him only an illustrious rebel. 

Celebrated as this school was all over England, it must be 
admitted that the pupils were in no great danger of being 
overworked. In 1845 the time devoted to study did not 
amount to eleven hours per week. An old Etonian thus 
speaks of the nature of the studies pursued : 

1 ' The books used in the fifth form — besides The Iliad, The 
iEneid, Horace, and, I think, some scraps of Ovid for repe- 
tition merely — consisted of three ' Selections ' or i Read- 
ers ' — Poetae Graeci, which contained some picked passages 
from Homer's Odyssey, Callimachus, Theocritus, etc., 
together with Scriptores Graaci and Scriptores Romani, 
which were similarly made up of tit-bits from the best 
Greek and Latin prose writers. A lad would go on grind- 
ing at the above scanty provender from the age it might be 
of twelve to that of twenty with little or no change. 
Plautus, Terence, Lucretius, Persius, Juvenal, Livy, Taci- 
tus, Cicero, Demosthenes, the tragedians (except in the head 
master's division), Aristophanes, Pindar, Herodotus, Thu- 
cydides — in short, all but four of the great authors of 
Greece and Rome, and those four poets were entirely 
unknown to us, except it might be through the medium of 
certain fragments in the i Selections ' aforesaid, where I 
believe that the majority of them were wholly unrepre- 
sented. It seems almost incredible that a young man could 
go up to the University from the upper fifth form of the 



SCHOOL DAYS AT ETON. 31 

first classical school in England, ignorant almost of the very 
names of these authors. Yet such was the case sometimes. 
It was very much my own case." 

When but eighteen years of age Mr. Gladstone, under 
the nom de plume of "Bartholemy Bauverie" contributed 
some remarkable articles to the Eton Miscellany. He wrote 
on " Eloquence," on "A Chorus of Euripides," and fol- 
lowed by a powerful article on "Ancient and Modern 
Genius Compared. " After taking the part of the moderns 
as against the ancients — though he by no means depreciates 
the genius of the latter — the essayist, in concluding his 
paper, thus eloquently apostrophises Canning : 

"It is for those who revered him in the plenitude of 
his meridian glory to mourn over him in the darkness of 
his premature extinction; to mourn over the hopes that are 
buried in his grave, and the evils that arise from his 
withdrawing from the scene of life. Surely if eloquence 
never excelled and seldom equaled — if an expanded mind 
and judgment whose vigor was paralleled only by its sound- 
ness, if brilliant wit, if a glowing imagination, if a warm 
heart, and an unbending firmness — could have strengthened 
the frail tenure and prolonged the momentary duration of 
human existence, that man had been immortal! But 
nature could endure no longer. Thus has Providence 
ordained that inasmuch as the intellect is more brilliant, it 
shall be more short lived; as its sphere is more expanded, 
more swiftly is it summoned away. Lest we should give to 
man the honor due to God — lest we should exalt the object 
of our admiration into a divinity for our worship — He who 
calls the weary and the mourner to eternal rest, hath been 
pleased to remove him from our eyes. " 

Then, after comparing the death of the object of his 
early hero-worship with the death of Pitt, he says, finally, 
"The decrees of -inscrutable Wisdom are unknown to us; 
but if ever there was a man for whose sake it was meet to 



32 



LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 



indulge the kindly though frail feelings of our nature, for 
whom the tear of sorrow was to us both prompted by affec- 
tion and dictated by duty — that man was George Canning. " 
With the daring of youth he ventured into the realms 
of poetry. His next contribution was entitled "Richard 
Coeur deLion," an effort in verse. This poem consists of 
some two hundred and fifty lines, and the following passage 
may be taken as a fair sample of the whole: 

Who foremost now the deadly spear to dart, 
And strike the jav'lin to the Moslem's heart? 
Who foremost now to climb the leaguer'd wall, 
The first to triumph, or the first to fall? 
Lo, where the Moslems rushing* to the fight, 
Back bear thy squadrons in inglorious flight. 
With plumed helmet, and with glitt'ring lance, 
'Tis Richard bids his steel-clad bands advance; 
'Tis Richard stalks along" the blood-dyed plain, 
And views unmoved the slaying" and the slain; 
'Tis Richard bathes his hands in Moslem blood, 
And tinges Jordan with the purple flood. 
Yet where the timbrels ring, the trumpets sound, 
And tramp of horsemen shakes the solid ground, 
Though 'mid the deadly charge and rush of fight, 
No thought be theirs of terror or of flight, — 
Ofttimes a sigh will rise, a tear will flow, 
And youthful bosoms melt in silent woe; 
For who of iron frame and harder heart 
Can bid the mem'ry of his home depart? 
Tread the dark desert and the thirsty sand, 
Nor give one thought to England's smiling land? 
To scenes of bliss, and days of other years — 
The Vale of Gladness and the Vale of Tears; 
That, pass'd and vanish'd from their loving sight, 
This 'neath their view, and wrapt in shades of night? 

We are happy in being able to present from Mr. Glad- 
stone's own pen a picture of the Eton of his boyhood. In 
a paper on Arthur Henry Hallam, contributed to the 
Youth'' s Companion for February, 1898, we gain glimpses 
of Eton and Eton life that are exceedingly interesting, as 



SCHOOL DAYS AT ETON. 33 

well as a record of one of Mr. Gladstone's earliest and most 
sacred friendships : 

< ' Far back in the distance of my early life, and upon a 
surface not yet ruffled by contention, there lies the memory 
of a friendship surpassing every other that has ever been 
enjoyed by one greatly blessed both in the number and in 
the excellence of his friends. 

" It is the simple truth that Arthur Henry Hallam was a 
spirit so exceptional that everything with which he was 
brought into relation during his shortened passage through 
this world came to be, through this contact, glorified by a 
touch of the ideal. Among his contemporaries at Eton, that 
queen of visible homes for the ideal schoolboy, he stood 
supreme among all his fellows ; and the long life through 
which I have since wound my way, and which has brought 
me into contact with so many men of rich endowments, 
leaves him where he then stood, as to natural gifts, so far 
as my estimation is concerned. 

"While intimacy was at this particular time the most 
delightful note of the friendship between Arthur Hallam 
and myself, I am bound to say that it had one other and 
more peculiar characteristic, which was its inequality. 
Indeed, it was so unequal as between his mental powers and 
mine, that I have questioned myself strictly whether I was 
warranted in supposing it to have been knit with such close- 
ness as I have fondly supposed. Of this, however, I find 
several decisive marks. One was, that we used to corre- 
spond together during vacations, a practice not known to me 
by any other example. Eton friendships were fresh and 
free, but they found ample food for the whole year during 
the eight or eight and a half months of term time.'. Another 
proof, significant from its peculiarity, I find in a record 
more than once supplied by a very arid journal, which at 
that early period I had begun to keep. It bears witness that 
I sometimes u sculled Hallam up to the Shallows," a point 



34 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

about two miles up the stream of the Thames from Eton. 
Working small boats (whether skiff, " funny" — such was 
the name, — or wherry) single-handed was a common prac- 
tice among Eton boys, and one which I followed rather assid- 
uously ; but to carry a passenger up stream was another mat- 
ter, and stands as I think for a proof of setting extraordinary 
value upon his society. Another recollection, more con- 
siderabe, bears in the same direction.. Except upon special 
occasions, the practice was that the boys breakfasted, or 
"messed," alone, each in his room. Now and then a case 
might be found, in which two, or even three, would club 
together their rolls and butter (the simple fare of those days, 
which knew nothing of habitual meat breakfast), but this 
only when they lived under the same roof. I had not the 
advantage of living in Mr. Hawtrey's house, and indeed it 
was severed from that of my "dame" by nearly the whole 
length of Eton, as it stood in what was termed Weston's 
yard, near those glorious and unrivaled "playing fields," 
(I speak of a date seventy years back. The stataly elms 
were then in their full glory. I fear that the hand of 
time has not wholly spared them,) whereas my window 
looked out upon the church-yard, with the mass of school 
buildings interposed between our dwellings. Notwithstand- 
ing this impediment we used, for I forget how many terms, 
regularly to mess together, and the point of honor or conven- 
ience was not allowed to interfere, for the scene of opera- 
tions shifted, week about, from his room to mine, and vice. 
versa. It was a grief to me, in my posthumous visits to 
Eton, to be unable to identify his room, consecrated by the 
fondest memories, for it had been sacrificed to the necessary 
improvements of an ill-planned but most hospitable resi- 
dence. 

"It was probably well for him that he participated in no 
game or strong bodily exercise, as I imagine that it might 
have precipitated the effects of that hidden organic malfor- 



SCHOOL DAYS AT ETON. 35 

mation which put an end to his life in 1833, when he was 
but twenty-two years old. But at these meals, and in 
walks, often to the monument of Gray, so appropriately 
placed near the 'churchyard' of the immortal 'Elegy,' 
were mainly carried on our conversations. It is evident from 
notices still remaining, that they partook pretty largely of an 
argumentative character. On Sunday, May 14, 1820, I find 
this record in my journal: 'Stiff arguments with Hallam, 
as usual on Sundays, about articles, creeds, etc' It is dif- 
ficult for me now to conceive how during these years he 
bore with me; since not only was I inferior to him in knowl- 
edge and dialectic ability, but my r mind was 'cabined, 
cribbed, confined,' by an intolerance which I ascribe to my 
having been brought up in what were then termed Evangel- 
ical ideas — ideas, I must add, that in other respects were 
frequently productive of great and vital good. 

' ' The common bond among all the boys of any consider- 
able prominence at Eton was the association for debating all 
unforbidden subjects, which has already been named and 
which is known as ' The Society. ' Such institutions are 
now very widely spread; but at the date Avhen this one was 
founded, in the year 1811, it might claim the honors of a 
discovery, for it was in exclusive possession of the field. 
During its career of about four-score years it has supplied 
the British Empire with no less than four prime ministers. 
It fluctuated in efficiency as the touch of time and change 
passed over it; but during the period of Arthur Hallam's 
membership it was regenerated by the introduction of that 
rare and most often precious character, an enthusiast, by 
name James Milnes Gaskeil. 

"This youth had a political faculty, which probably suf- 
fered in the end from an absorbing and exclusive predom- 
inance in mind and life such as to check his general devel- 
opment of mental character, yet which in its precocious 
ripeness secured for hirnnofcthe notice only, but what might 



36 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

also be called the close friendship of Mr. Canning, that com- 
manding luminary of the twenties, doomed to die at Chis- 
wick in 1827, in the very chamber in which Mr. Fox had 
breathed his last only twenty-one years before. Gaskell 
found our society, if not at the point, yet afflicted with a 
premonitory lethargy, almost of death; but he breathed life 
by his assiduity and energy into every artery and vein of 
the body, and gave to Arthur Hallam a worthy field for the 
training of his eloquence and the exhibition of his always 
temperate but yet vivid and enlightened ideas, stamped 
with traditional Whiggism, yet incapable of being perma- 
nently trammeled by any artificial restraints. 

< < I have mentioned that we were inhibited from debating 
any events not more than fifty years old, and I recollect the 
growling of our famous Doctor Keats when we fished out 
from the Indian administration of Warren Hastings a ques- 
tion lying very close upon the line. But Gaskell was equal 
to the occasion. He had a small but pleasant apartment in 
a private house, which his private tutor was privileged to 
occupy. In this room four or five of us would meet and 
debate without restraint the questions of modern politics. 
Here we reveled in the controversies between Pitt and Fox. 
I think we were mostly, if not all, friendly to Roman 
Catholic Emancipation, and to those initial measures of free 
trade which Huskisson, supported by Mr. Canning, devised 
with skill and supported with courage, in the face of bit- 
terness of hatred from the < harassed interests,' which I 
think underwent at least mitigation in the later stages of 
the controversy." 



CHAPTER V. 

STUDENT LIFE AT OXFORD. 

"Deeper, deeper, let us toil 
In the mines of knowledge, 
Learning's wealth and freedom's spoil, 
Win from school and college. 
Delve we there for brighter gems 
Than the stars of diadems." 

— Charles Mackay. 

4i 1 have a debt of my heart's own to thee, 

School of my soul! old lime and cloister shade, 
Which I, strange suitor, should lament to see 

Fully acquitted and exactly paid: 
The first ripe taste of manhood's best delights, 

Knowledge imbibed, while mind and heart agree, 
In sweet belated talk on winter nights, 

With friends whom growing time keeps dear to me, — 
Such things I owe thee, and not only these." 

— {R. M. Milnes) Lord Houghton. 

In the brief interim between the school days at Eton and 
the college days at Oxford, Mr. Gladstone enjoyed the 
privilege of the private teachings of Doctor Turner, who 
afterward became Bishop of Calcutta. At this period his 
habits of study became systematized and fixed. A born stu- 
dent, he now so arranged his time that a certain number of 
hours each day were allotted to close exacting, study. In 
these formative years of his life, from the age of eighteen 
till he was twenty-one, wherever he was, whether with his 
tutor, or at home, or at Liverpool, at the University, or spend- 
ing a vacation in the country, it was his constant rule to 
devote at least six or seven hours a day to good hard work. 
From ten o'clock till two, and then for two or three hours 

37 



38 



LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 



in the evening he was diligently engaged in study. This 
course was the fixed order of his young life. Nothing was 
allowed to interfere with this plan. These hours were 
sacred. Life was very real and very earnest. Mr. Glad- 
stone pursued his studies with an ardor that fell little short 
of devotion 




CHRIST CHURCH, OXFORD 



^..-•.•^•Ar!".-.- ~^ 



"He is such an ardent creature" said Lord Beaconsfield 
on one occasion with a touch of satire in the utterance. It 
is to the order and ceaseless ardor of these early days that 
Mr. Gladstone owed largely the accuracy and completeness 
of the wonderful scholarship of his riper years. 

In the year 1829 — the year in which Doctor Turner, his 
tutor, was appointed Bishop of Calcutta — Mr. Gladstone 
was entered as a student of Christ Church College, Oxford. 
This college has always been regarded as the most aristo- 



STUDENT LIFE AT OXFORD. 39 

cratic of all the colleges of aristocratic Oxford. ' 'An Oxford 
man " has always been looked upon and is looked upon still 
as a man of conservative sentiments and aristocratic preju- 
dices. The training at Christ Church College had precisely 
this influence on the mind of Mr. Gladstone. Loyal to the old- 
time traditions of his country, and true to the deepest and 
most sacred convictions of freedom, he became saturated with 
those influences which gave Macauley the right to speak of 
him not many years later as " the rising hope of the Tory 
party. " 

In the month of December, 1878, nearly half a century 
after the Christ College days, in an address delivered at the 
opening of the Palmerston Club, Oxford, Mr. Gladstone, 
in referring to this matter, said : 

' ' I trace in the education of Oxford, of my own time, 
one great defect. Perhaps it was my own fault ; but I must 
admit that I did not learn, when at Oxford, that which I 
have learned since — viz. , to set a due value on the imper- 
ishable and inestimable principles of human liberty. The 
temper which, I think, too much prevailed in academic cir- 
cles was, that liberty was regarded with jealousy, and fear 
could not be wholly dispensed with. I think that the prin- 
ciple of the Conservative party is jealousy of liberty, and of 
the whole people, only qualified by fear ; but I think the policy 
of the Liberal party is trust in the people, only qualified by 
prudence. I can only assure you, gentlemen, that now I 
am in front of extended popular privileges, I have no fear 
of those enlargements of the constitution that seem to be 
approaching. On the contrary, I hail them with desire. I 
am not in the least degree conscious that I have less rever- 
ence for antiquity, for the beautiful and good and glorious 
charges that our ancestors have handed down to us as a 
patrimony to our race, than I had in other days when I held 
other political opinions. I have learned to set the true value 



40 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

upon human liberty, and in whatever I have changed, there; 
and there only, has been the explanation of the change." 

Little did the young student of Oxford dream that a time 
would ever come when he would entertain such principles 
as these, or give utterance to such radical sentiments. It 
only needed that the young recluse of Oxford should be 
brought face to face with the people, that he should know 
their wants and their weakness, their hopes and their aspi- 
rations in order that the scope of his convictions should 
widen and his groundless prejudices should vanish. 

Mr. Gladstone's influence at Oxford was of an eminently 
salutary character. One who knew him well in these days 
speaks thus of his University life : " Lord Lincoln's friend- 
ship for Gladstone was of the stanchest, and equally credit- 
able to both. If Gladstone owed something to the Duke of 
Newcastle's patronage, Lord Lincoln owed a great deal more 
to his friend — as he ever generously confessed — for the 
lesson in good conduct which he derived from him. There 
was a very fast set at Christ Church, of which the Marquis 
of Waterford was the guiding spirit, and wealthy young 
noblemen were under strong temptations to join that set. 
Late supper parties, gambling and nocturnal expeditions to 
screw up the doors of dons or to break the furniture in hard- 
reading men's rooms, were among the least of the freaks in 
which the gay young i tufts ' indulged, and it required some 
moral courage even to condemn their follies by word too 
openly. A midnight bath in Mercury — that is, the foun- 
tain in the midst of Tom Quad — was often the penalty 
which outspoken critics were made to pay, for the ' tufts ' 
administered a retributory justice of their own, much after 
the fashion of the Mohawks. But they never dared touch 
Gladstone, although he did not scruple to give them his 
mind about the worst of their pranks, and many well-dis- 
posed youngsters like Lord Lincoln instinctively rallied to 
the strong young fellow who did not know what fear was, 



STUDENT LIFE AT OXFORD. 41 

and who, notwithstanding that he was so reasonable and 
steady, took such pleasure in healthy amusements and cheer- 
ful society. For it must not be supposed that Gladstone 
was ascetically inclined. He was one of the most hospitable 
men at Christ Church, which was saying a good deal." 

Speaking of this period, and especially of the religious 
tendencies of the University, Mr. Gladstone says : " At the 
time I resided at Oxford, from 1828 to 1831, no sign of 
what was afterward known as the Tractarian Movement had 
yet appeared. A steady, clear, but dry, Anglican orthodoxy 
bore sway, and frowned this way or that at the first indication 
to diverge from the beaten path. Dr. Pusey was at the time 
revered for his piety and charity, no less than admired for 
his learning and talent, but suspected, I believe, of sympathy 
with the German theology, in which he was known to be 
profoundly versed. Dr. Newman was thought to have 
about him the flavor of what he has now told the world 
were the opinions he derived from the works of Dr. Thomas 
Scott. Mr. Keble, < the sweet singer of Israel ' and a true 
saint, if this generation has seen one, did not reside in 
Oxford. There was nothing at that time in the theology or 
in the religious life at the University to indicate what was 
so soon to come." 

In his able sketch of Mr. Gladstone's career, Mr. Waiter 
Jerrold says, in referring to the spiritual side of the life at 
Oxford during these four years : "We do not find any 
striking movement in progress ; the Catholic Emancipation 
question had created some stir, and was yet a sore subject 
with many. The famous Tractarian Movement, with all its 
far-reaching effects, did not commence until a few years 
later. Gladstone, who was looked upon as the most relig- 
ious member of his set, was always an earnest student of 
theology as well as a man of strong moral feeling. It is not, 
therefore, surprising to find that he was at this time very 
desirous of entering the church. He, however, never really 



42 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

decided upon such a step, and finally commenced his polit- 
ical career in accordance with the wishes of his father. It 
is strange to reflect upon that the two most remarkable men 
at Oxford during the early thirties, each wishing to take up 
certain work, should not only take up with other work, but 
doing it, should rise to the prominent positions of leaders 
of men. William Ewart Gladstone, wishing to enter the 
church, became in course of time, Prime Minister of Eng- 
land, and the acknowledged political leader of the people ; 
while his friend and contemporary, Henry Edward Man- 
ning, wishing for a life in the world of politics, was forced 
by circumstances to seek some other path, entered the 
English Church, became Archdeacon, seceded to the Church 
of Rome, and died a Cardinal." 

When Mr. Gladstone went to Oxford he met many of his 
old Eton friends there. Others had entered the University 
of Cambridge, among whom were Arthur Henry Hallam, 
George Selwyn and Richard Monckton Milnes, better known 
in our day as Lord Houghton. Tennyson was also at Cam- 
bridge enjoying that fellowship with Hallam that he has 
made immortal in the pages of "In Memoriam." 

An interesting episode transpired about this time, well 
worthy of brief notice. The debaters of the Oxford Union 
were attracting great attention. Speaking of this debating 
Society, an Oxford man of that day says : ' ' We could 
hardly name any institution in Oxford which has been more 
useful in encouraging a taste for study and for general read- 
ing than this club. It has not only supplied a school for 
speaking for those who intended to pursue the professions 
of the law and the church, or to embrace political life, but 
furnished a theater for the display of miscellaneous knowl- 
edge, and brought together most of the distinguished young 
men of the University." 

The relative position of Shelley and Byron in the rank 
of great poets of the age was at this time exciting consid- 



STUDENT LIFE AT OXFORD. 43 

erable interest in the public mind. Shelley had been ex- 
pelled from Oxford, and in the judgment of many of his 
admirers had been very badly used by the University. A 
notable debate took place in Oxford on this question, in 
which, by special arrangement between Cambridge and Ox- 
ford, certain Cambridge men took part. Hallam, Milnes 
and Selwyn drove over from Cambridge to speak in the 
interests of Shelley. The debate was opened by Sir Francis 
Doyle on behalf of Shelley. Only one Oxford man was found 
to stand as Byron's advocate, and that was Henry Edward 
Manning, who became afterward the Cardinal Archbishop 
of Westminster. Manning was regarded as the most elo- 
quent and persuasive member of the Oxford Debating 
Union. But his eloquent and impassioned plea for Byron 
was all in vain. At the end of the debate, by a vote of 
ninety to thirty-three, the palm of superiority was awarded 
to Shelley. Referring to this incident many years afterward 
Lord Houghton, one of the speakers from Cambridge, 
observed — at the inauguration of the new buildings of the 
Cambridge Union Society in 1866 — "At that time we (the 
Cambridge undergraduates) were all very full of Mr. Shelley 
We had printed his 'Adonais ' for the first time in England, 
and a friend of ours suggested that, as he had been expelled 
from Oxford, and been very badly treated in that Univer- 
sity, it would be a grand thing for us to defend him there. 
With the permission of the Cambridge authorities they 
accordingly went to Oxford — at that time a long, dreary, 
post-chaise journey of ten hours — and were hospitably en- 
tertained by Mr. Manning of Balliol and Mr. Gladstone of 
Christ Church. Mr. Gladstone was at this time only a 
'freshman,' and could not take any part in the debate, 
although he was present as a ' probationary member. ' " 

Very interesting information concerning this great debat- 
ing society may be found in the reports of the late Librarian, 
Mr. E. B. Nicholson. 



4-t LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

The Oxford Union came into existence in the spring of 
1823, and fifty years later it celebrated its jubilee by a ban- 
quet, at which Lord Selborne took the chair. It is not a 
little remarkable that Mr. Gladstone's Ministry included no 
fewer than seven of the early presidents of the society, viz. , 
the ex-Premier himself, Lord Selborne, Mr. Lowe, Mr. 
Cardwell, the Attorney-General, Mr. Goschen and Mr. 
Knatchbull-Hugessen. Although the Union owed its origin 
to a few Balliol men, three-fifths of the members of the 
United Debating Society came from Christ Church and 
Oriel. The Wilberforces attained great distinction in the 
society. 

From 1829 to 1834 is described as the most active and 
most brilliant period in the history of the Union. In the 
course of these five years the presidency was held by 
(amongst other) Mr. Gladstone, Mr. Sidney Herbert, the 
Duke of Newcastle, Lord Selborne, the Archbishop of Can- 
terbury and Mr. Lowe. Mr. Gladstone made his first speech 
on the 11th of February, 1830, and was the same night 
elected a member of the committee. The following year 
he succeeded Mr. Milnes Gaskell in the office of secretary. 
His minutes are neat; proper names are underlined and half 
printed. As secretary he opposed a motion for the removal 
of Jewish disabilities. He also moved that the Wellington 
Administration was undeserving of the country's confidence: 
Gaskell, Lyall, and Lord Lincoln supported; Sidney Her- 
bert and the Marquis (now Duke) of Abercorn opposed 
him. The motion was carried by 57 to 56, and the natural 
exultation of the mover betrayed itself in such irregular 
entries as " tremendous cheers," " repeated cheering." 
The following week he was elected president. 

It was also claimed that in this society the undergraduate 
might learn for the first time to think upon political sub- 
jects, and could improve his acquaintance with modern his- 
tory — especially that of his own country. The sharp 



STUDENT LIFE AT OXFORD. 45 

encounter of rival wits was useful in expanding the mind 
and in enlarging the scope of its impressions. Further, it 
was remarked that unless a student was so perverse as to set 
himself entirely against the prevailing tone of feeling which 
pervaded all classes in Oxford he would probably acquire 
from conviction, as well as prejudice, a spirit of devoted 
loyalty, of warm attachment to the liberties and ancient 
institutions of his country, a dislike and dread of rash inno- 
vation, and admiration approaching to reverence for the 
orthodox and apostolic English Church. All this ' ' leads 
by an easy and natural step to serious meditation upon the 
vital matter of religion, and this contributes more than any- 
thing to strengthen the good resolutions and to settle the 
character of a high-minded young man. He becomes dis- 
tinguished for polish of manners, steadiness of morals and 
strictness of reading." The opponents of Oxford culture 
affirmed, on the other hand, that its tendency was toward 
intolerance and bigotry, both in religion and politics. 

In those stormy times it was impossible that the Reform 
Bill should escape notice. In the summer of 1831 the 
theme was taken up for debate in the Oxford Union. Mr. 
Gladstone made a bold and exhaustive speech on this occa- 
sion in determined and uncompromising opposition to the 
bill. The speech was delivered when the young orator was 
only in his twenty-second year. Charles (afterward 
Bishop) Wordsworth said it was better than any speech he 
had heard during the five days' debate in the House of Lords, 
which he had closely followed. Lord Lincoln, a fellow- 
student and friend of Gladstone, wrote to his father, the 
Duke of Newcastle, and said : " A man has risen in Israel." 
This vigorous onslaught on Lord John Russell's reform bill 
stamped the speaker as a finished orator, and within eight- 
een months of its delivery Mr. Gladstone was a member of 
the House of Commons. 



CHAPTER VI. 

MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR NEWARK. 

We need men in society who stand apart from the little fights, 
petty controversies, and angry contentions which seem to be part aDd 
parcel of daily life, and who shall speak great principles, breathe a 
heavenly influence, and bring to bear on combatants of all kinds con- 
siderations which shall survive all their misunderstandings. 

— Joseph Parker, D. D. 

No star shines brighter than the kingly man, 

Who nobly earns whatever crown he wears, 
****** 

And the white banner of his manhood bears 
Through all the years uplifted to the skies. 

— Mrs. J. C. R. Dorr. 

At the close of his University course Mr. Gladstone 
indulged in what was then the luxury of the few, but which 
in these days has become the common privilege of the many. 
In the spring of 1832 he went abroad, and for six months 
he wandered with growing delight amid the historic fields 
of sunny Italy. During these eventful months, " Eng- 
land," says Mr. Barnett Smith, " was in a condition of 
feverish political excitement and expectancy. The people 
had just fought and won one of the greatest constitutional 
battles recorded in our parliamentary history. After a 
prolonged struggle, a defiance of public order, and riots in 
various parts of the country, the Reform Bill had become a 
law. The King had clearly perceived the wishes of the 
people, and, disregarding the advice of those members of 
the aristocracy who recommended him to brave the national 
will, had signified his assent to the measure, which could 
no longer be delayed with safety. The bill became a law 



MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR NEWARK. 47 

on the 7th of June, his Majesty being represented by royal 
commissioners, although a portion of the press loudly 
demanded the presence of the King himself at the final stage 
of a measure which transformed the whole of the electoral 
arrangements of the United Kingdom. It was alleged that 
the Sovereign would forfeit the confidence of all true 
patriots if he did not perform this ceremony in person, and 
exhibit himself as publicly as possible in testimony of the 
subjugation to which his crown and the peers had been 
reduced. But the King, probably considering that he had 
already made sufficient sacrifices to the popular will, declined 
to attend the ceremony in the House of Lords." 

Walpole says : ' ' King and Queen sat sullenly apart in 
their palace. Peer and country gentleman moodily awaited 
the ruin of their country and the destruction of their prop- 
erty. Fanatacism still raved at the wickedness of a people ; 
the people, clamoring for work, still succumbed before the 
mysterious disease, which was continually claiming more 
and more victims. But the nation cared not for the sullen- 
ness of the court, the forebodings of the landed classes, the 
ravings of the pulpit, or even the mysterious operations of 
a new plague. The deep gloom which had overshadowed 
the land had been relieved by one single ray. The victory 
had been won. The bill had become law." 

Parliament was dissolved, and the first general election 
after the passage of the Reform Bill was looked forward to 
with great interest and anxiety. It was to be the opening of 
a new chapter in English history. What the pages of that 
chapter would record it was difficult to predict. Trade was 
bad, the national credit was low, the cholera was raging, 
filling thousands of graves. Pious people said the vengeance 
of God was about to fall upon the nation. Some predicted 
that the end of the world was near, while others declared 
that they saw the first breaking dawn of a glorious millen- 
nium. Early in September of this memorable year, 1832, 



48 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

Mr. Gladstone having received an overture from the Duke 
of Newcastle (with whose son, the Earl of Lincoln, he was 
on terms of intimate friendship) to contest the representation 
of Newark, hurried back from the Continent for that pur- 
pose. Before the close of September, 1832, he was actively 
engaged in canvassing the borough. He immediately 
became very popular in the town, and one of the local jour- 
nals remarked that if candor and ability had any influence 
upon the electors there would soon be a change in the rep- 
resentation. A week later came accounts of glorious meet- 
ings, with the assurance that Gladstone's return might be 
fully calculated upon. 

Mr. Gladstone's first election address was dated ' ' Clin- 
ton Arms, Newark, Oct. 9th, 1832," and was inscribed : " To 
the worthy and independent electors of the Borough of New- 
ark." As this document, in the light of subsequent events, 
has more than a passing interest, and is distinguished for its 
ingenious reasoning upon the great question of slavery then 
agitating the public mind, we present it verbatim : 

' i Having now completed my canvass, I think it my duty 
as well to remind you of the principles on which I have 
solicited your votes, as freely to assure my friends that its 
result has placed my success beyond a doubt. 

' ' I have not requested your favor on the ground of adher- 
ence to the opinions of any man or party, further than such 
adherence can be fairly understood from the conviction I 
have not hesitated to avow, that we must watch and resist that 
uninquiring and undiscriminating desire for change amongst 
us, which threatens to^ produce, along with partial good, a 
melancholy preponderance of mischief ; which, I am per- 
suaded, would aggravate beyond computation the deep- 
seated evils of our social state, and the heavy burthens of 
our industrial classes ; which, by disturbing our peace, 
destroys confidence and strikes at the root of prosperity. 



MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR NEWARK. 49 

Thus it has done already; and thus, we must therefore 
believe, it will do. 

' ' For the mitigation of those evils, we must, I think, look 
not only to particular measures, but to the restoration of 
sounder general principles. I mean especially that principle 
on which alone the incorporation of Religion with the State, 
in our Constitution, can be defended ; that the duties of 
governors are strictly and peculiarly religious ; and that 
legislatures, like individuals, are bound to carry throughout 
their acts the spirit of the high truths they have acknowl- 
edged. Principles are now arrayed against our institutions ; 
and not by truckling nor by temporizing — not by oppres- 
sion nor corruption — but by principles they must be 
met. 

' i Among the first results should be a sedulous and special 
attention to the interests of the poor, founded upon the rule 
that those who are the least able to take care of themselves 
should be most regarded by others. Particularly it is a 
duty to endeavor by every means, that labor may receive 
adequate remuneration; which, unhappily, among several 
classes of our fellow-countrymen, is not now the case. 
Whatever measures, therefore, whether by correction of the 
poor laws, allotment of cottage grounds, or otherwise, tend 
to promote this object, I deem entitled to the warmest sup- 
port with all such as are calculated to secure sound moral 
conduct in any class of society. 

"I proceed to the momentous question of Slavery, which 
I have found entertained among you in that candid and tem- 
perate spirit which alone befits its nature, or promises to 
remove its difficulties. If I have not recognized the right 
of an irresponsible society to interpose between me and 
the electors, it has not been from any disrespect to its 
members, nor from unwillingness to answer theirs or any 
other questions on which the electors may desire to know 
my views. To the esteemed secretary of the society I sub- 



50 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

mi t ted my reasons for silence ; and I made a point of stat- 
ing these views to him, in his character of a voter. 

"As regards the abstract lawfulness of Slavery, I 
acknowledge it simply as importing the right of one man to 
the labor of another ; and I rest it upon the fact that Scrip- 
ture, the paramount authority upon such a point, gives 
directions to persons standing in the relation of master to 
slave, for their conduct in that relation ; whereas, were the 
matter absolutely and necessarily sinful, it would not regu- 
late the manner. Assuming sin as the cause of degradation, 
it strives, and strives most effectually, to cure the latter by 
extirpating the former. TTe are agreed that both the phys- 
ical and the moral bondage of the slave are to be abolished. 
The question is as to the order, and the order only ; now 
Scripture attacks the moral evil before the temporal one, 
and the temporal through the moral one, and I am content 
with the order which Scripture has established. 

i i To this end, I desire to see immediately set on foot, by 
impartial and sovereign authority, an universal and efficient 
system of Christian instruction, not intended to resist 
designs of individual piety and wisdom for the religious 
improvement of the negroes, but to do thoroughly what 
they can only do partially. 

' < As regards immediate emancipation, whether with or 
without compensation, there are several minor reasons 
against it ; but that which weighs with me is, that it would, 
I much fear, exchange the evils now affecting the negro for 
others which are weightier — for a relapse into deeper 
debasement, if not for bloodshed and internal war. Let 
fitness be made a condition for emancipation ; and let us 
strive to bring him to that fitness by the shortest possible 
course. Let him enjoy the means of earning his freedom 
through honest and industrious habits; thus the same instru- 
ments which attain his liberty shall likewise render him 
competent to use it ; and thus, I earnestly trust, without 



MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR NEWARK. 51 

risk of blood, without violation of property, with unim- 
paired benefit to the negro, and with the utmost speed which 
prudence will admit, we shall arrive at that exceedingly 
desirable consummation, the utter extinction of Slavery. 

"And now, gentlemen, as regards the enthusiasm with 
which you have rallied round your ancient flag, and wel- 
comed the humble representative of those principles whose 
emblem it is, I trust that neither the lapse of time, nor the 
seductions of prosperity, can ever efface it from my 
memory. To my opponents, my acknowledgments are due 
for the good-humor and kindness with which they have 
received me; and while I would thank my friends for their 
zealous and unwearied exertions in my favor, I briefly but 
emphatically assure them, that if promises be an adequate 
foundation of confidence, or experience a reasonable ground 
of calculation, our victory is sure. 

' i I have the honor to be, gentlemen, 

' i Your obliged and obedient servant, 

"W. E. Gladstone." 

The canvass was a very vigorous one, full of hard work 
and varied experiences. The young student who had so 
lately come from the stately halls of Oxford was brought 
into contact with strange characters, for politics like 
poverty will make a man " acquainted with strange bed- 
fellows." "My Newark recollections," said Mr. Glad- 
stone, writing to an old constituent of Newark, forty years 
after the memorable election, " do not want much revival. 
I remember as if it were yesterday my first arrival in the 
place, at midnight, by the High Flyer Coach in September, 
1832, after a journey of forty hours from Torquay, of 
which we thought nothing in those days. Next morning at 
eight we sallied forth from the Clinton Arms to begin a 
canvass, on which I now look back as the most exciting 
period of my life. I never worked harder or slept so lit- 



52 



LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 



tie. We started our canvass at eight in the morning and 
worked at it for about nine hours, with a great crowd, 
band and nags, and innumerable glasses of beer and wine, all 
jumbled together; then a dinner of thirty or forty, with 
speeches and songs, until say ten o'clock; then we always 




MB. GLADSTONE, M. P. FOR NEWARK. 
^ETAT 23. 



played a rubber of whist, and about twelve or one I got 
to bed, but not to sleep, for never in my life did I undergo 
any excitement to compare with it. There was a public 
house tour of speaking to the Red Clubs — for political 
parties had their colors in those days, the Tory colors of 



MEMBER OF PARLIAMENT FOR NEWARK. 53 

Newark being red — with which I often had to top up after 
the dinner and before the whist." Opportunity will pre- 
sent itself later on to deal more at length with the methods 
and humors of those old time elections. Mr. Glad- 
stone was really but a boy when he fought his first political 
battle, but he fought it bravely and well. There was a 
custom called " heckling," common in the elections of those 
days, which consisted in asking candidates a series of 
questions, some of which were wise and serious, and many 
of which were neither wise nor serious, but were intended 
to confuse the candidate and make him look rediculous in 
the eyes of the people. The fact that the Duke of New- 
castle had what was called " paramount influence " in those 
days in the Borough of Newark, and that Mr. Gladstone 
was in a very real sense his Grace's nominee, gave a radical 
elector a grand opportunity of " heckling" the young can- 
didate. But as Mrs. Glass says, ' ' First catch your hare 
then cook it. " Mr. Gladstone was too wary to be easily 
caught. The following amusing dialogue ensued: 

Radical Elector. ' ' Are we to understand you, then, as 
the nominee of the Duke of Newcastle?" 

Mr. Gladstone. 6 ' I will answer that question if you will 
tell me what you mean by nominee." 

The Elector. i i I consider the man as the nominee of the 
Duke when he is sent by his Grace to be crammed down 
the throats of the populace whether they like it or not." 

Mr. Gladstone. "Then, according to that definition, I 
am not the nominee of the Duke of Newcastle." 

The Elector. "What is your definition of a nominee? " 

Mr. Gladstone. "I am not here to give the definition. 
I asked, what you meant by the word nominee, and accord- 
ing to your own explanation of it I gave the answer. " 

The crafty "heckler" was silenced, and even the oppos- 
ing Whigs could scarce forbear applauding the courage and 
sagacity of the candidate for parliamentary honors. 



54 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

Mr. Gladstone was opposed by Mr. Handley and Mr. 
Serjeant Wilde. At the close of the poll the figures stood 
thus: 

Mr. W. E. Gladstone 882 

Mr. Handley 793 

Mr. Serjeant Wilde - - - 719 

The Tories were delighted beyond measure. The dreaded 
revolt of the nation was after all only a dream. The Not- 
tingham Journal said: "The delusion has now vanished 
and made room for sound reason and reflection. The shadow 
satisfies no longer, and the return of Mr. Gladstone has re- 
stored the town of Newark to that high rank which it for- 
merly held in the estimation of the friends of order and 
good government." 



s 
2 



o 
c 

M 

► 

O 

►- 

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► 





Scene in the House of Lords. 



CHAPTER Vn. 

EARLY SPEECHES IN PARLIAMENT. 

* Ah God, for a man with heart, head, hand, 
Like some of the simple great ones gone 
For ever and ever by, 
One still strongman in a'blatant land, 
Whatever they call him, what care I — 
Aristocrat, democrat, autocrat — one 
Who can rule and dare not lie." 

— Tennyson. 

The young member from Newark had not begun at the 
bottom of the ladder in the matter of speech-making and 
oratory as is generally the case with young members of 
Parliament. He had already climbed to a most enviable 
height. His experience and many successes in connection 
with the Oxford Debating Union had won for him a wide 
reputation for rare ability and eloquence in debate. Old 
Oxonians who knew Mr. Gladstone well, prophesied that he 
would soon take his place in the front rank, and side by 
side with men who had given the House of Commons the 
ungrudging fame of being "the greatest deliberative assem- 
bly in the world. " A vigorous opponent of Mr. Gladstone's, 
a pronounced Whig, pays this high tribute to his genius, 
and foretells a brilliant future: 

" Yet on one form, whose ear can ne'er refuse 
The Muse's tribute, for he loved the Muse 
(When the soul the gen'rous virtues raise 
A friendly Whig may chant a Tory's praise), 
Full many a fond expectant eye is bent 
Where Newark's towers are mirror'd in the Trent. 
Perchance ere long to shine in senates first, 

65 



56 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

If manhood echo what his youth rehears'd, 

Soon Gladstone's brows will bloom with greener bays 

Than twine the chaplet of a minstrel's lays ; 

Nor heed, while poring* o'er each graver line, 

The far, faint music of a lute like mine, 

His was no head contentedly which press'd 

The downy pillow in obedient rest, 

Where lazy pilots, with their canvas furl'd, 

Set up the Gades of their mental world ; 

His was no tongue which meanly stoop'd to wear 

The guise of virtue, while his heart was bare; 

But all he thought through ev'ry action ran; 

God's noblest work — I've known one honest man.'' 

Mr. Gladstone, just before the opening of the Parliament 
of 1835, made a speech before the Conservative Club of 
Nottingham, which called from the Conservative journal of 
that ancient borough the following flattering eulogium: 

' ' Mr. Gladstone is a gentleman of amiable manners and 
the most extraordinary talent; and we venture to predict, 
without the slightest exaggeration, that he will one day be 
classed amongst the most able statesmen of the British 
Senate. " 

The prophets were thus early at their tasks, but the bold- 
est of them all was not blessed with vision clear enough to 
discern the lofty height to which Mr. Gladstone was born 
to climb. It must not be imagined for one moment that 
Mr. Gladstone had no enemies. The man who is strong 
enough to win a wide circle of ardent friends is sure to have 
a host of bitter foes. The Whig press fell foul on this 
young Tory, whose youth and brilliance were his chief sins. 
One of these acrimonious journals, the Reflector — let us 
hope it reflected itself chiefly — said: 

"Mr. Gladstone is the son of Gladstone of Liverpool, a 
person who — we are speaking of the father — has amassed a 
large fortune by West India dealings. In other words, a great 
part of his gold has sprung from the blood of black slaves. 
Respecting the youth himself — a person fresh from college, 



EARLY SPEECHES IN PARLIAMENT. 57 

and whose mind is as much like a sheet of white foolscap 
as possible — he was utterly unknown. He came recom- 
mended by no claim in the world except the will of the Duke. 
The Duke nodded unto Newark, and Newark sent back the 
man, or rather the boy of his choice. What! Is this to be, 
now that the Reform Bill has done its work? Are sixteen 
hundred men still to bow down to a wooden-headed lord, as 
the people of Egypt used to do to their beasts, to their rep- 
tiles and their ropes of onions? There must be something 
wrong — something imperfect. What is it? What is want- 
ing? Why, the ballot! If there be a doubt of this (and 
we believe there is a doubt, even amongst intelligent 
men), the tale of Newark must set the question at rest. 
Serjeant Wilde was met on his entry into the town by almost 
the whole population. He was greeted everywhere, cheered 
everywhere. He was received with delight by his friends, 
and with good and earnest wishes for his success by his nom- 
inal foes. The voters for Gladstone went up to that candi- 
date's booth (the slave-driver, as they called him) with 
Wilde's colors. People who had before voted for Wilde, 
on being asked to give their suffrage, said, l ' We cannot, we 
dare not. We have lost half our business, and shall lose 
the rest if we go against the Duke. We would do anything 
in our power for Serjeant Wilde, for the cause, but we can- 
not starve! Now what say you, our merry men, touching 
the ballot? " 

The following extract from one of Mr. Gladstone's con- 
tributions to the Eton Miscellany, read in the light of 
to-day, awakens a smile at the modest fears of the young 
aspirant after literary fame : 

"In my present undertaking there is one gulf in which I 
fear to sink, and that gulf is Lethe. There is one stream 
which I dread my inability to stem, it is the tide of popular 
opinion. I have ventured, and no doubt rashly ventured — 



58 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

Like little wanton boys that swim on bladders, 
To try my fortune in a sea of glory, 
But far beyond my depth. 

At present it is hope alone that buoys me up ; for more 
substantial support I must be indebted to my own exertions, 
well knowing- that in this land of literature merit never 
wants its reward. That such merit is mine I dare not pre- 
sume to think ; but still there is something within me that 
bids me hope that I may be able to glide prosperously down 
the stream of public estimation ; or, in the words of Virgil — 

Celerare viam rumore secundo. 



Little could the writer of these words imagine — forecast- 
ing the future even by the aid of youth's most ardent 
desires — that he would live to fill the most exalted office it 
was in the power of his Sovereign to bestow ; that he was 
destined to be regarded as an accomplished man of letters, 
and that, all in good time, he would take rank as one of the 
greatest orators of his age. It will not be denied by those 
who are least disposed to idolize Mr. Gladstone that he has 
won a wider fame in the forum and on the platforms of the 
nation than Cicero won in the Senate of ancient Rome, or 
Demosthenes by the sounding, unquiet sea. No man is in a 
better position to give an authoritative opinion concerning 
Mr. Gladstone's rare powers of oratory, nor has any man 
given a more careful and exhaustive analysis of those pow- 
ers than the brilliant author of < ' The History of Our Own 
Times," Justin McCarthy, M. P. We have no apology to 
offer for quoting at length from the pages of this distin- 
guished Irish leader. He says : 

"Mr. Gladstone's first oratorical qualification was his 
exquisite voice. Such a voice would make commonplace 
seem interesting and lend something of fascination to dull- 
ness itself. It was singularly pure, clear, resonant and 
sweet. The orator never seemed to use the slightest effort 



EARLY SPEECHES IN PARLIAMENT. 59 

or strain, in filling any hall and reaching the ear of the 
farthest among the audience. It was not a loud voice or of 
great volume, but strong, vibrating and silvery. The words 
were always aided by energetic action and by the deep, 
gleaming eyes of the orator. Somebody once said that 
Gladstone was the only man in the House who could talk in 
italics. The saying was odd, but was nevertheless appro- 
priate and expressive. Gladstone could by the slightest 
modulation of his voice give all the emphasis of italics, of 
small print or large print, or any other effect he might 
desire, to his spoken words. It is not denied that his won- 
derful gift of words sometimes led him astray. It was often 
such a fluency as that of a torrent on which the orator was 
carried away. 

"He could seldom resist the temptation to shower too 
many words on his subject and his hearers. Sometimes he 
involved his sentence in a parenthesis within parentheses 
until the ordinary listener began to think extrication an 
impossibility ; but the orator never failed to unravel all the 
entanglements and to bring the passage out to a clear and 
legitimate conclusion. There was never any halt or inco- 
herency, nor did the joints of the sentence fail to fit together 
in the right way. Harley once described a famous speech 
as ' a circumgyration of incoherent words. ' This description 
certainly could not be applied even to Mr. Gladstone's most 
involved passages ; but if some of those were described as 
a circumgyration of coherent words, the phrase might be 
considered germane to the matter. His style was commonly 
too redundant. It seemed as if it belonged to a certain school 
of exuberant Italian rhetoric. Yet it was hardly to be called 
florid. Gladstone indulged in few flowers of rhetoric, and 
his great gift was not imagination. His fault was simply the 
habitual use of too many words. The defect was indeed a 
characteristic of the Peelite school of eloquence. Mr. Glad- 
stone retained some of the defects of the school in which he 



60 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

had been trained, even after he had come to surpass its great- 
est master. Often, however, this superb, exuberant rush of 
words added indescribable strength to the eloquence of the 
speaker. In passages of indignant remonstrance or denun- 
ciation, when word followed word and stroke came down 
upon stroke, with a wealth of resource that seemed inex- 
haustible, the very fluency and variety of the speaker over- 
Avhelmed his audience. Interruption only gave him a new 
stimulus, and appeared to supply him with fresh resources 
of argument and illustration. His retorts leaped to his lips. 
His eye caught sometimes even the mere gesture that indi- 
cated dissent or question ; and perhaps some unlucky oppo- 
nent, who was only thinking of what might be said in oppo- 
sition to the great orator, found himself suddenly dragged 
into the conflict and overwhelmed with a torrent of remon- 
strance, argument, and scornful words. Gladstone had not 
much humor of the playful kind, but he had a certain force 
of sarcastic and scornful rhetoric. He was always terribly 
in earnest. Whether the subject were great or small, he 
threw his whole soul into it. Once, in addressing a school- 
boy gathering, he told his young listeners that if a boy ran 
he ought always to run as fast as he could ; if he jumped, 
he ought always to jump as far as he could. He illustrated 
his maxim in his own career. He had no idea apparently 
of running or jumping in such measure as happened to 
please the fancy of the moment. He always exercised his 
splendid powers to their uttermost strain. 

< ' A distinguished critic once pronounced Mr. Gladstone 
to be the greatest parliamentary orator of our time, on the 
ground that he had made by far the greatest number of fine 
speeches, while admitting that two or three speeches had 
been made by other men of the day which might rank higher 
than any of his. This is, however, a principle of criticism 
which posterity never sanctions. The greatest speech, the 
greatest poem, give the author the highest place, though 



EARLY SPEECHES IN PARLIAMENT. 61 

the effort were but single. Shakespeare would rank beyond 
Messinger just as he does now had he written only * The 
Tempest.' We can not say how many novels, each as good 
as ' Gil Bias, ' would make La Sage the equal of Cervan- 
tes. On this point fame is inexorable. We are not, there- 
fore, inclined to call Mr. Gladstone the greatest English 
orator of our time, when we remember some of the finest 
speeches of Mr. Bright ; but did we regard parliamentary 
speaking as a mere instrument of parliamentary business 
and debate, then unquestionably Mr. Gladstone is not only 
the greatest, but by far the greatest, English orator of our 
time ; for he had a richer combination of gifts than any 
other man we can remember, and he could use them of tenest 
with effect. He was like a racer, which can not, indeed, 
always go faster than every rival, but can win more races 
in t>he year than any other horse. Mr. Gladstone could get 
up at any moment, and no matter how many times a night, 
in the House of Commons, and be argumentative or indig- 
nant, pour out a stream of impassioned eloquence or a 
shower of figures, just as the exigency of debate and the 
moment required. He was not, of course, always equal ; 
but he was always eloquent and effective. He seemed as if 
he could not be anything but eloquent. Perhaps, judged in 
this way, he never had an equal in the English Parliament. 
Neither Pitt nor Fox ever made so many speeches combining 
so many great qualities. Chatham was a great actor rather 
than a great orator. Burke was the greatest political essayist 
who ever addressed the House of Commons. Canning did 
not often rise above the level of burnished rhetorical com- 
monplace. Macaulay, who during his time drew the most 
crowded houses of any speaker, not even excepting Peel, 
was not an orator in the true sense. Probably no one, past 
or present, had in combination so many gifts of voice, 
manner, fluency and argument, style, reason and passion, 
as Mr. Gladstone. 



62 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

' ' The House of Commons was his ground. There he was 
himself; there he was always seen to the best advantage. 
As a rule he was not so successful on the platform. His 
turn of mind did not fit him well for the work of address- 
ing great public meetings. He loved to look too carefully 
at every side of a question, and did not always go so 
quickly to the heart of it as would suit great ^popular 
audiences. The principal defect of his mind was probably 
a lack of simplicity, a tendency to over-refining and super- 
subtile argument. Not perhaps unnaturally, however, 
when he did, during some of the later passages of his 
career, lay himself out for the work of addressing popular 
audiences, he threw away all discrimination, and gave loose 
to the full force with which, under the excitement of great 
pressure, he was wont to rush at a principle. There seemed 
a certain lack of balance in his mind; a want of the exact 
poise of all his faculties. Either he must refine too much 
or he did not refine at all. Thus he became accused, and 
with some reason, of over-refining and all but quibbling in 
some of his parliamentary arguments , of looking at all sides 
of a question so carefully that it was too long in doubt 
whether he was ever going to form any opinion of his own; 
and he was sometimes accused with equal justice of plead- 
ing one side of a political question before great meetings of 
his countrymen with all the passionate blindness of a par- 
tisan. The accusations might seem self-contradictory, if 
we did not remember that they will apply, and with gre^ 
force and justice, to Burke. Burke cut blocks with a 
razor, and went on refining to an impatient House of Com- 
mons, only eager for its dinner; and the same Burke threw 
himself into antagonism to the French Revolution as if he 
were the wildest of partisans; as if the question had but one 
side, and only fools or villains could possibly say it had 
any other." 

It was not possible that the silver-tongued orator of the 



EARLr SPEECHES IN PARLIAMENT. 63 

Oxford Debating Union could long keep silence. His mind 
was growing daily richer in that wealth of loving thought 
that must find utterance. Gray in his matchless " Elegy" 
talks of "mute, inglorious Miltons, " and " Cromwells guilt- 
less of their country's blood. " But there are other things 
besides murder that "will out." With such things to say 
as Mr. Gladstone had accumulated and was constantly 
accumulating, the old order was illustrated: " While I 
mused the fire burned, and at last I spake with my tongue." 
And from the first speech in Parliament to the last public 
utterances of his long and illustrious life, he commanded the 
attention and admiration of his hearers. Millions have 
listened, spell-bound by his oratory, and when addressing in 
earnest controversy the ranks of those who were his pro- 
nounced opponents in political life, he invariably commanded 
their respect to such an extent that — 

Even the ranks of Tuscany could scarce forbear to cheer. 

The first Parliament summoned after the passing of the 
Reform Act, and known as "the Reform Parliament," met 
on the 29th of January, 1833. On the 5th of the following 
month the King attended and read the speech from the 
throne. The young member for Newark took his place, 
little dreaming that in the years to come he would be 
acknowledged as one of the master spirits of that great deliber- 
ative assembly. Sir Robert Peel was the recognized leader 
of the Tory minority. Under his banner Mr. Gladstone 
entered on the public service of his country. 

This Parliament was celebrated for two great measures of 
which England has always had occasion to be justly proud. 
The first was the emancipation of the slaves in the British 
colonies at a cost of $100,000,000. The second was the 
breaking up of the monopoly of the East India Company, 
by which the trade to the East was thrown open to all 
merchants. It was in connection with the first of these 



6-1 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

great measures that Mr. Gladstone delivered his maiden 
speech in the British House of Commons. So much has 
been said on this matter that we deem it best to present our 
readers with Mr. Barnett Smith's statement of this interest- 
ing episode as being at once impartial, exhaustive and 
reliable. 

"During the debate on the Ministerial proposition for 
the emancipation of slaves, which was brought forward on 
the 14th of May, 1833, Lord Howick, ex-Under-Secretary 
for the Colonies, had referred to an estate in Demerara, 
owned by Mr. Gladstone's father, for the purpose of show- 
ing that a great destruction of human life had taken place 
in the West Indies, owing to the manner in which the slaves 
were worked. It was in reply to this accusation that 
Mr. Gladstone delivered his maiden, speech on the 17th of 
May, the occasion being the presentation of a petition from 
Portarlington for the abolition of slaver v. He challenged 
the noble lord's statement respecting the decrease of 
seventy-one slaves upon the estate of Vreeden Hoop, which 
had been attributed to the increased cultivation of sugar. 
The real cause of the decrease lay in the very large propor- 
tion of Africans upon the estate. When it came into his 
father's possession, it was so weak, owing to the great num- 
ber of Africans upon it, that he was obliged to add two 
hundred people to the gang. It was notorious that 
Africans were imported into Demerara and Trinidad up to 
a later period than into any other colony; and he should, 
t\ hen the proper time arrived, be able to prove that the 
decrease on Vreeden Hoop was among the old Africans, and 
that there was an increase going on in the Creole popula- 
tion, which would be a sufficient answer to the statement of 
the noble lord. The quantity of sugar produced was small 
in proportion to that produced on many other estates. The 
cultivation of cotton in Demerara had been abandoned, and 
that of coffee much diminished, and the people employed in 



EARLY SPEECHES IN PARLIAMENT. 65 

these sources of production had been transferred to the cul- 
tivation of sugar. Demerara, too, was peculiarly circum- 
stanced, and the labor of the same number of negroes, dis- 
tributed over the year, would produce in that colony a 
given quantity of sugar, with less injury to the people, than 
negroes could produce in other colonies, working only at 
the stated periods of crop. 'He was ready to admit that 
this cultivation was of a more severe character than others; 
and he would ask, were there not certain employments in 
this and other countries more destructive to life than 
others? He would only instance those of painting and 
working in lead mines, both of which were well known to 
have that tendency. The noble lord attempted to impugn 
the character of the gentleman acting as manager of his 
father's estates; and in making this selection he had cer- 
tainly been most unfortunate; for there was not an 
individual in the colony more proverbial for humanity, and 
the kind treatment of his slaves than Mr. Maclean.' Mr. 
Gladstone, in concluding his warm defense of his relative, 
said he held in his hand two letters from the agent, in 
which that gentleman spoke in the kindest terms of the peo- 
ple under his charge; described their state of happiness, 
content and healthiness — their good conduct and the 
infrequency of severe punishment — and recommended cer- 
tain additional comforts, which he said the slaves well 
deserved. 

"On the 3rd of June, on the resumption of the debate on 
the abolition of slavery, Mr. Gladstone again addressed the 
House. He now entered more fully into the charges which 
Lord Ho wick had brought against the management of his 
father's estates in Demerara, and showed their groundless- 
ness. When he had discussed the existing aspect of slavery 
in Trinidad, Jamaica, and other places, he proceeded to 
deal with the general question. He confessed, with shame 
and pain, that cases of wanton cruelty had occurred in the 



66 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

Colonies, but added that they would always exist, particu- 
larly under the system of slavery; and this was unquestion- 
ably a substantial reason why the British Legislature and 
public should set themselves in good earnest to provide for 
its extinction; but he maintained that these instances of 
cruelty could easily be explained by the West Indians, who 
represented them as rare and isolated cases, and who main- 
tained that the ordinary relation of master and slave was 
one of kindliness and not of hostility. He deprecated 
cruelty, and he deprecated slavery, both of which were 
abhorrent to the nature of Englishmen; but, conceding 
these things, he asked, 'Were not Englishmen to retain a 
right to their own honestly and legally acquired property? ' 
But the cruelty did not exist, and he saw no reason for the 
attack which had recently been made upon the West India 
interest. He hoped the house would make a point to adopt 
the principle of compensation, and to stimulate the slave to 
genuine and spontaneous industry. If this were done, and 
moral instruction were not imparted to the slaves, liberty 
would prove a curse instead of a blessing to them. Touch- 
ing upon the property question, and the proposed 
plans for emancipation, Mr. Gladstone said that the 
house might consume its time and exert its wisdom in 
devising these plans, but without the concurrence of the 
Colonial Legislatures success would be hopeless. He 
thought there was excessive wickedness in any violent inter- 
ference under the present circumstances. They were still 
in the midst of unconcluded inquiries, and to pursue the 
measure then under discussion, at that moment, was to com- 
mit an act of great and unnecessary hostility toward the 
island of ^Jamaica. 'It was the duty of the House to 
place as broad a distinction as possible between the idle an 1 
the industrious slaves, and nothing could be too strong to 
secure the freedom of the latter; but, with respect to rhe 
idle slaves, no period of emancipation could hasten their 



EARLY SPEECHES IN PARLIAMENT. 67 

improvement. If the labors of the House should be con- 
ducted to a satisfactory issue, it would redound to the honor 
of the nation and to the reputation of his Majesty's Minis- 
ters, whilst it would be delightful to the West India plant- 
ers themselves — for they must feel that to hold in bondage 
their fellow-men must always involve the greatest responsi- 
bility. But let not any man think of carrying this measure 
by force. England rested her power not upon physical force, 
but upon her principles, her intellect, and virtue; and if 
this great measure were not placed on a fair basis, or were 
conducted by violence, he should lament it as a signal for 
the ruin of the Colonies, and the downfall of the Empire. * 
The attitude of Mr. Gladstone, as borne out by the tenor 
of his speech, was not one of hostility to Emancipation, 
though he was undoubtedly unfavorable to an immediate 
and an indiscriminate enfranchisement. He demanded more- 
over, that the interests of the planters should be duly 
regarded." 

The abolition of Colonial Slavery was decreed. The sum 
of $100,000,000 was voted to the slave-owners as compen- 
sation for their losses. The blot of slavery was wiped from 
the fair escutcheon of England. William Wilberforce and 
his brave and untiring comrades saw with boundless joy 
the success of their labors in the cause of freedom. No 
slave could now breathe where the flag of England waved. 



CHAPTER VIII. 

EARLY SPEECHES IN PARLIAMENT — CONTINUED. 

When he speaks, 
The air, a chartered libertine, is still 
And the mute wonder lurketh in men's ears 
To steal his sweet and honey'd sentences. 

— William Shakespeare. 

Whatever strengthens our local attachments is favorable both to 
individual and national character. Our home, our birth-place, our 
native land— think for a while what the virtues are that arise out of 
the feelings connected with these words, and if you have any intel- 
lectual eyes you will then perceive the connection between topog- 
raphy and patriotism. Show me a man who cares no more for one 
place than another and I will show you in that same person one who 
"loves nothing but himself. — Robert Souihey. 

It is exceedingly interesting to note that Mr. Gladstone's 
earliest speeches in Parliament were in the main devoted to 
the advocacy of principles and institutions that in his riper 
a£/e he was destined to controvert and overthrow. Take 
two examples — the Irish church question and the question 
of the special disadvantages under which all those who were 
not churchmen or Episcopalians labored in respect to the 
Universities. 

On the 8th of July, 1834, a debate took place on Lord 
Althorp's Church Temporalities (Ireland) Bill. On the ques- 
tion that this bill should pass, Mr. Gladstone said he would 
not shelter himself under a silent vote. Silent votino; was 
never a habit with Mr. Gladstone, especially if such voting- 
could bo in any way misconstrued. He was prepared to 
defend the Irish Church, and if it had abuses, which he did not 
now deny, those abuses were to be ascribed to the ancestors 
and predecessors of thoje who then surrounded him. He 



EARLY SPEECHES IN PARLIAMENT. 60 

admitted that the Irish Church had slumbered. He feared 
that the effect of the bill would be to place the Church on 
an untenable foundation. He was unwilling to see the 
number of Irish bishops reduced. He had always regarded 
it as a well-established principle that as long as a Church 
was national the State ought to be taxed to support it ; and 
if the Government meant to maintain the Protestant Church 
in Ireland they ought to enforce this maxim ; but it was 
not the proper way to establish or maintain the Church to 
proceed by laying further burdens on the body of the 
clergy, who, God knows, were already not overbur- 
thened with money — as was done by that measure. He had 
little doubt the Government would carry the bill by a large 
majority, and if they did, he could only hope that it would 
produce the effects which they had ascribed to it — namely, 
of securing and propping up the Irish Protestant Church. 
The bill was carried by 271 votes to 94, Mr. Gladstone's 
name appearing in the minority. 

Thirty years pass by and the question of the Irish Church 
is once more before the House of Commons. Mr. Dillwyn 
proposed in March, 1865: "That the present position of 
the Irish Church is unsatisfactory, and calls for the early 
attention of Her Majesty's Government." While declining 
to vote for this motion, on the ground that it was not a 
matter to which the Government could give its < ' early '' 
attention, Mr. Gladstone declared that the abstract truth of 
the former part of the resolution could not be denied. He 
could come to no other conclusion, he said, than that the 
Irish Church, as she then stood, was in a false position. This 
was Mr. Gladstone's first formal utterance in Parliament 
against the Irish establishment. A few years later he 
entered upon that memorable conflict which resulted in the 
disestablishment and disendowment of the Irish Church. 
In this great conflict the present writer rendered enthusi- 
astic service as a follower in the ranks of the great champion 



70 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

of religious equality and freedom. Later on attention will 
be called to some interesting reminiscences of that stirring 
period. 

In this same Parliament of 1834 Mr. Hume presented to 
the House of Commons the Universities Admission Bill, 
whose aim was to throw the doors of the Universities open 
to all applicants, wholly irrespective of their religious 
opinions or creeds. The specific purpose of the Bill w r as to 
remove the necessity of subscription to the Thirty-nine Arti- 
cles of the Church of England, as an essential condition of 
entrance. Mr. Gladstone's contention was, that although 
the measure proposed to alter materially the constitution of 
the Universities, it would be practically inoperative. Yet 
the Bill, while not working out its professed objects, would, 
nevertheless, inevitably lead to great dissension and confu- 
sion, and eventually to endless applications and legislation 
in the House. It was said of the ancient Romans that 

they — 

Made a solitude and called it peace. 

He very much feared that the House, in establishing 
their present principle of religious liberty, would drive 
from their functions men who had long done honor and 
service to their country, and thus inaugurate their reign of 
religious peace by an act of the grossest tyranny. Not- 
withstanding Mr. Gladstone's opposition, the tide in favor 
of the motion rolled on, and when it came to a vote the Bill 
was carried by a majority of 89 — 164 voting for the bill and 
75 against. Rather a handsome and suggestive majority 
this, showing most surely that the day of a broader liberal 
spirit was already dawning. This w r as the year 1834. A 
whole generation passes away ; Mr. Gladstone is at the helm 
of the state. "The golden age of Liberalism," as it was 
proudly called, was in its full-orbed splendor. Mr. Glad- 
stone, who in those early Newark days — as w x e have just 
seen — stood in terror of any radical movement, in respect 



EARLY SPEECHES IN PARLIAMENT. 71 

of University reform, is now the champion of a wide-open 
University. Under his guidance a Bill receives the Royal 
assent, the chief feature of which is : " That all lay stu- 
dents, of whatever religious creed, shall in future be 
admitted to the universities on equal terms." 

In the middle of October the King summarily dismissed 
the Melbourne ministry. Lord Althorp had been trans- 
ferred to the House of Lords. This gave the King his 
opportunity. He objected to the reconstruction of the 
Cabinet. He caused a letter to be sent to the venerable 
Duke of Wellington, who very warmly recommended Sir 
Robert as the most suitable man to be at the head of the 
government. Sir Robert, who was then traveling in Italy, 
returned to London, and on the 9th of December, 1834, 
accepted the King's commands to form a Ministry. 

On the 24thof December— Christmas Eve of 1834— Mr. 
Gladstone was tendered the official position of Junior Lord 
of the Treasury under Sir Robert Peel. He was now 
twenty-five years of age. This was the first round of the 
official ladder, to whose sunniest height he was destined to 
climb, making each step in his upward career increasingly 
illustrious. 



CHAPTEE IX. 

THE YOUNG MINISTER OF STATE. 

He who ascends to mountain tops shall find 

The loftiest peaks most wrapped in cloud and snow ; 

He who surpasses or subdues mankind, 

Must look down on the hate of those below. 

— Lord Byron. 

Greatness lies not in being* strong", but in the right using- of 
strength; and strength is not used rightly when it only serves to 
carry a man above his fellows for his own solitary glory. He is 
greatest whose strength carries up the most hearts by the attraction 
of his own.— Henry Ward Beecher. 

As we saw in the previous chapter, Mr. Gladstone found 
himself on his twenty-first birthday, and in his first year of 
Parliamentary service, started on his official career. The 
golden honors that some men strive half a lifetime to win, 
and strive in vain, came to him in the morning of his days, 
unwooed and uninvited. It was a case of aptitude shaping 
destiny. Mr. Gladstone was not " born great," nor can it 
be said that he had " greatness thrust upon him." Great- 
ness came to him in the natural order of things. The 
judicious use of the one talent made it inevitable that he 
should be entrusted with increasing power and responsi- 
bility. He was not the happy favorite of lucky stars, and 
yet, as has been most wisely said, " Rarely has a great 
man at the outset of his career had fewer difficulties to over- 
come, or been more splendidly helped by favoring circum- 
stances. The son of a rich and influential father, every 
advantage that wealth, education and position could give 
was his; and from the first, even from his Eton days, it 
seems to have been accepted by those who surrounded him 
that he was one whom destiny had marked out for a great 



THE YOUNG MINISTER OF STATE. 73 

position. He was welcomed into public life, welcomed into 
office, and while he was still but a youthful Under-Secre- 
tary, ecclesiastics were writing to him assuring him that the 
Premiership awaited him, and advising him to prepare 
himself with that goal in view." The world renowned 
Samuel Wilberforce, Bishop of Oxford, one of the most 
eloquent divines that ever sat upon an Episcopal throne, 
wrote to Gladstone in these early days and said : ' ' There 
is no height to which you may not fairly rise. If it pleases 
God to spare us violent convulsions and the loss of our 
liberties, you may at some future day wield the whole gov- 
ernment of this lad. Act now with a view to then." 

It was a great Parliament, this first Parliament of the 
Reform era, the Parliament that welcomed the youthful 
and brilliant Gladstone to its debates. 

The Duke of Wellington, conqueror of Napoleon, not a 
statesman, but an honest patriot, was there. Lord 
Brougham, Lord Lyndhurst, Sir Robert Peel, and that 
greatest Irishman of his age, Daniel O'Connell, were there. 
Giants of oratory were Peel and O'Connell. It is said 
nobody in modern times ever swayed the House of Com- 
mons by argument and eloquence as did Sir Robert Peel for 
many years. Both Peel and O'Connell possessed magnifi- 
cent voices, a characteristic contributing to the forensic 
power of the man who was to succeed them. Another 
leader of the new Parliament was Lord John Russell, fore- 
most in enacting the law that had created it. Lord Derby, 
Macaulay, Grote, the historian, and Bulwer, the novelist, 
were there. Disraeli had not yet come to astonish the 
House with his florid fancies and satiric rhetoric, and Palm- 
erston was to be conspicuous later. Earl Grey was Prime 
Minister. Lord Althorp led the Liberal majority in the 
House, Peel was the head of the Tory minority. 

Before any member of the English House of Commons 
can exercise the functions of any office to which he has been 



74 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

summoned by the Prime Minister he must first appeal to 
his constituents for their endorsement. He is the repre- 
sentative of his constituents, and their endorsement or 
objection is made manifest in the election or non-election of 
the candidate. On the 24th of December, 1834, Mr. Glad- 
stone issued his address to his constituents at Newark. The 
warmest adherents of the outgoing Parliament had become 
incensed by what they regarded as a tendency towards 
rash, violent, and menacing innovation. Mr. Gladstone 
said there were even " those among the servants of the 
King who did not scruple to solicit the suffrages of their 
constituents, with promises to act on the principles of Radi- 
calism." He further went on to say in his own inimitable 
style : ' ' The question has then, as it appears to me, become, 
whether we are to hurry onward at intervals, but not long 
ones, through the medium of the ballot, short parliaments, 
and other questions called popular, into republicanism or 
anarchy ; or whether, independently of all party distinc- 
tions, the people will support the Crown in the discharge of 
its duty to maintain in efficiency, and transmit in safety, 
those old and valuable institutions under which our country 
has greatly flourished." In the last paragraph of this 
address, however, the writer said, "Let me add shortly, 
but emphatically, concerning the reform of actual abuses, 
whether in Church or State, that I regard it as a sacred 
duty — a duty at all times, and certainly not least at a period 
like this, when the danger of neglecting it is most clear and 
imminent — a duty not inimical to true and determined Con- 
servative principle, nor a curtailment or modification of 
such principle, but its legitimate consequences, or rather an 
actual element of its composition." 

If Mr. Gladstone's address met the approval of the 
thoughtful and patriotic, his speech from the hustings kin- 
dled that approval into enthusiasm. The plaudits were long 
and loud and most persuasive. The waverers became con- 



THE YOUNG MINISTER OF STATE. 75 

vinced, Mr. Gladstone was triumphantly re-elected for the 
ancient borough of Newark. In those noisy demonstrative 
days it was customary to "chair" the successful candidates. 
A beautiful arm-chair was provided in which the triumph- 
ant Member of Parliament was placed, and then chair and 
occupant were hoisted on the shoulders of sturdy men, a 
procession was then formed, and the hero of the day was 
borne along to the great edification and delight of the party 
on whose banner victory sat enthroned. But Mr. Glad- 
stones " chairing" took on a more elaborate form. The 
chair, which was one of exceptionally fine workmanship, 
attracted general admiration ; it was placed on a ground- 
work laid upon the springs of a four-wheel carriage, and 
drawn by six beautiful grey horses, the riders dressed in 
silk jackets. As the procession wended its way through 
the streets the inhabitants were most peaceably inclined. 
" Never before did the town of Newark present so pleasing 
and so glorious a sight !" said a local journal of the time. 
The "red" lion and the "blue" lamb — for the political 
parties had their colors as well as their names — lay down 
together (the colors of the quadrupeds may be reversed at 
pleasure), and all was harmony, and all was peace. Alight- 
ing at his committee room, Mr. Gladstone delivered an 
address of thanks to upwards of 6,000 persons, his speech 
being greeted with deafening cheers. 

Parliament assembled in February, 1835. Mr. Glad- 
stone was promoted to the office of Under Secretary for the 
Colonies. In a pleasant page of biographical reminiscence 
Mr. Gladstone details an interview with his Chief, which is 
exceedingly interesting and reveals the innate modesty of 
the young minister : 

"On an evening in the month of January, 1835, I was 
sent for by Sir Robert Peel, and received from him the 
offer, which I accepted, of the Under Secretaryship of the 
Colonies. From him I went to Lord Aberdeen, who was, 



76 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

thus to be, in official home-talk, my master. I may confess 
that I went in fear and trembling. I knew Lord Aberdeen 
only by public rumor. Distinction of itself, naturally and 
properly, rather alarms the young. I had heard of his high 
character ; but 1 had also heard of him as a man of cold 
manners, close and even haughty reserve. It was dark 
when I entered his room — the one on the first floor with the 
bay window looking to the parlor — so that I could see his 
figure rather than his countenance. I do not recollect the 
matter of the conversation, but I well remember that before 
I had been three minutes with him all my apprehension had 
melted away like snow in the sun. I came away from that 
interview conscious — indeed, as who could fail to be con- 
scious ? — of his dignity, but of a dignity so tempered by a 
peculiar purity and gentleness, and so associated with 
impressions of his kindness, and even friendship, that I 
believe I felt more about the wonder of his being misunder- 
stood by the outer world than about the duties and respon- 
sibilities of my new office." 

On the 30th of March, 1835, Lord John Eussell intro- 
duced a resolution concerning the Irish Church, in the fol- 
lowing terms : 

" That the House should resolve itself into a committee of j 
the whole to consider of the Temporalities of the Church of 
Ireland." j 

The resolution was met with the most determined oppo- 
sition. In the course of the discussion, Mr. Gladstone said 
the result of the motion would be first to enfeeble and 
debase, and then altogether overthrow, the principle on 
which the church establishment rested. * The noble lord 
invited them to invade the property of the church in Ire- 
land. The system they were. now called upon to agree to 
was in its essence transitory, and yet it involved the existence 
of all church establishments. If the separation of church 
and state was hastening on,, the present motion, instead of 



hrn 



THE YOUNG MINISTER OF STATE. < < 

retarding it, would increase its rapidity. If in the admin- 
istration of this great country the elements of religion should 
not enter — if those who were called upon to guide it in its 
career should be forced to listen to the caprices and to the 
whims of every body of visionaries, they would lose that 
station all great men were hitherto proud of. He hoped 
that he should never live to see the day when any principle 
leading to such a result would be adopted in this country. 

On a division ministers were defeated, the numbers being: 
For Lord John Russell's motion, 322 ; against, 289. The 
Irish Church bill was subsequently discussed in committee, 
Avhen ministers were again defeated on the question of 
appropriating the surplus funds of the church to the general 
education of all classes of Christians. Sir Robert Peel, 
seeing that he and his government had no possibility of con- 
ducting the affairs of the country with the substantial sup- 
port of the House, announced his resignation. Lord Mel- 
bourne again became Prime Minister. Mr. Gladstone, of 
course, stepped down from the office of Under Secretary of 
the Colonial Department, and retired with his chief into the 
quiet shades of opposition. The life of the House of Com- 
mons was a life of strife and bitter contention. From this 
Mr. Gladstone kept as much as possible aloof. For great 
principles he was always ready to fight, but when the con- 
flict was merely between persons and parties he refused to 
enter the lists, and by the courtesy and urbanity of his 
manners he won the admiration of the whole House. 

An admirer and fellow-member of Parliament with Mr. 
Gladstone in these early years, thus speaks of him : "He 
spoke frequently in debates, and the growth of his position 
in the country is testified to by the fact that in 1837, being 
in his twenty-eighth year, he was invited to stand as the 
Tory candidate for Manchester. He declined the proposal, 
but was nevertheless run, and polled a considerable number 
oi votes. It was at this period of his career that Lord 



78 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

Macaulay described him in a famous sentence as " a young 
man of unblemished character, and of distinguished Parlia- 
mentary talents, the rising hope of those stern and unbend- 
ing Tories who follow reluctantly and mutinously a leader 
whose experience and eloquence are indispensable to them, 
but whose cautious temper and moderate opinions they 
abhor. " 






CHAPTER X. 

ACCESSION AND CORONATION OF QUEEN VICTORIA. 

This awful responsibility is imposed upon me so suddenly, and at 
so early a period of my life, that I should feel myself utterly oppressed 
by the burden were I not sustained by the hope that Divine Providence 
which has called me to this work will give me strength for the per- 
formance of it. — Queen Victoria. 

Perhaps our youthful Queen 

Remembers what has been — 
Her childhood's rest by loving- heart, 

And sport on grassy sod — 

Alas! can others wear 

A mother's heart for her? 
But calm she lifts her trusting face 

And calleth upon God. 

Yea! call on God, thou maiden, 

Of spirit nobly laden, 
And leave such happy days behind. 

For happy-making years 

A nation looks to thee 

For steadfast sympathy. 
Make room within thy bright clear eyes, 

For all its gathered tears. 

And so the grateful isles 

Shall give thee back their smiles, 
And as thy mother joys in thee, 

In them shalt thou rejoice; 

Rejoice to meekly bow 

A somewhat paler brow, 
While the King of Kings shall bless thee 

By the British people's voice. 

— Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 

The days of Mr. Gladstone's public service ran parallel 
with the days of the reign of Queen Victoria. For sixty 
years that illustrious lady has swayed the sceptre of empire, 
and for more than sixty years Mr. Gladstone served with 

79 



80 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

matchless power and rare fidelity his God, his country, and 
his queen. The historian of the future will find this 
prolonged reign of so distinct a character that he will in all 
probability accept the designation already given it; he will 
describe the reign of Victoria as the "Victorian age." 
Ardent admirers of Mr. Gladstone have not hesitated to 
describe him as the greatest moral force in the statesmanship 
of that eventful era. It seems to us appropriate that at 
this point a few pages should be devoted to a record of the 
accession and coronation of the youthful queen. The dawn 
of that fair June morning in 1837, was the dawn of the 
most glorious reign England has ever seen or is ever likely 
to see. In this fair land we have neither monarch nor 
throne. But if there must be monarchs, well then the land 
that boasts such a queen as Victoria and such statesmen as 
Gladstone has everything to hope for, and nothing to fear. 
Around the accession and coronation of the queen, romance 
of the most sacred order has woven its delightful traceries. 
There is a pretty description which has been often quoted, 
given by Miss Wynn, of the manner in which the young 
sovereign received the news of her accession to a throne. 
The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Howley, and the Lord 
Chamberlain, the Marquis of Conyngham, left Windsor for 
Kensington Palace, where the Princess Victoria had been 
residing, to inform her of the King's death. It was tAvo 
hours after midnight when they started, and they did not 
reach Kensington until five o'clock in the morning. "They 
knocked, they rang, they thumped for a considerable time 
before they could rouse the porter at the gate; they were 
again kept waiting in the court yard, then turned into one 
of the lower rooms, where they seemed forgotten by every- 
body. They rang the bell, and desired that the attendant of 
the Princess Victoria might be sent to inform her Royal 
Highness that they requested an audience on business of 
importance. After another delay, and another ringing to 



ACCESSION AND CORONATION OF QUEEN VICTORIA. 81 

inquire the cause, the attendant was summoned, who stated 
that the Princess was in such a sweet sleep that she could 
not venture to disturb her. Then they said ' We are come 
on business of state to the Queen, and even her sleep must 
give way to that.' It did; and to prove that she did not 
keep them waiting, in a few minutes she came into the room 
in a loose white nightgown and shawl, her nightcap thrown 
off, and her hair falling upon her shoulders, her ieet in 
slippers, tears in her eyes, but perfectly collected and digni- 
fied." The Prime Minister, Lord Melbourne, was presently 
sent for, and a meeting of the Privy Council summoned for 
eleven o'clock, when the Lord Chancellor administered the 
usual oaths to the Queen, and her Majesty received in 
return the oaths of allegiance of the Cabinet ministers and 
other privy councillors present. Mr. Greville has described 
the scene: 

"The King died at twenty minutes after two yesterday 
morning, and the young Queen met the Council at Kensing- 
ton Palace at eleven. Never was anything like the first 
impression she produced, or the chorus of praise and admi- 
ration which is raised about her manner and behavior, and 
certainly not without justice. It was very extraordinary, 
and something far beyond what was looked for. Her 
extreme youth and inexperience, and the ignorance of the 
world concerning her, naturally excited intense curiosity to 
see how she would act on this trying occasion, and there was 
a considerable assemblage at the palace, notwithstanding the 
short notice which was given. The first thing to be done 
was to teach her her lesson, which, for this purpose, Mel- 
bourne had himself to learn. .... She bowed to the 
lords, took her seat, and then read her speech in a clear, 
distinct, and audible voice, and without any appearance of 
fear or embarrassment. She was quite plainly dressed, and 
in mourning. After she had read her speech, and taken and 
signed the oath for the security of the Church of Scotland, 



82 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

the privy councillors were sworn, the two royal dukes first 
by themselves; and as these two old men, her uncles, knelt 
before her, swearing allegiance and kissing her hand, I saw 
her blush up to the eyes, as if she felt the contrast between 
their civil and their natural relations, and this was the only 
sign of emotion which she evinced. Her manner to them 
was very graceful and engaging; she kissed them both, and 
rose from her chair and moved toward the Duke of Sussex, 
who was farthest from her, and too infirm to reach her. 
She seemed rather bewildered at the multitude of men who 
were sworn, and who came one after another, to kiss her 
hand, but she did not speak to anybody, nor did she make 
the slightest difference in her manner, or show any in her 
countenance, to any individual of any rank, station, or party. 
I particularly watched her when Melbourne and the minis- 
ters, and the Duke of Wellington and Peel approached her. 
She went through the whole ceremony, occasionally look- 
ing at Melbourne for instruction when she had any doubt 
what to do, which hardly ever occurred, and with perfect 
calmness and self-possession, but at the same time with a 
graceful modesty and propriety particularly interesting and 
ingratiating. " 

Sir Robert Peel said that he was amazed at * * her manner 
and behavior, at her apparent deep sense of her situation, 
and at the same time her firmness. " The Duke of Welling- 
ton said in his blunt way that if she had been his own 
daughter he could not have desired to see her perform her 
part better. "At twelve," says Mr. Greville, "she held a 
Council, at which she presided with as much ease as if she 
had been doing nothing else all her life; and though Lord 
Lansdowne and my colleague had contrived between them 
to make some confusion with the Council papers, she was 
not put out by it. She looked very well; and though so 
small in stature, and without much pretension to beauty, 
the gracefulness of her manner and the good expression of 



ACCESSION AND CORONATION OF QUEEN VICTORIA. 83 

her countenance give her on the whole a very agreeable 
appearance, and with her youth inspire an excessive interest 
in all who approach her, and which I can't help feeling 
myself. ... In short, she appears to act with every 
sort of good taste and good feeling, as well as good sense; 
and as far as it has gone nothing can be more favorable than 
the impression she has made, and nothing can promise better 
than her manner and conduct do; though," Mr. Greville 
somewhat superfluously adds, "it would be rash to count 
too confidently upon her judgment and discretion in more 
weighty matters. 

Few remain among the living who were present at that 
gorgeous ceremony of Coronation. The grand old Abbey 
had never seen such a pageant, nor had the streets of Lon- 
don ever echoed with more enthusiastic loyalty. The cor- 
onation did not take place till the year 1838. 

A magnificent new crown had been made for the youthful 
sovereign. Into its formation all the jewels of the crowns 
of the Georges and of William had been massed. The 
jeweler's best skill had been taxed to make this creation one 
of splendor and of beauty. On this auspicious day it was 
to rest on the head of her Majesty Queen Victoria. 

Escorted by squadrons of the Blues, the Life Guards, the 
Scots Fusiliers, and other military bodies, and by the great 
lords and ladies of her kingdom, the girl-sovereign pro- 
ceeded to Westminster Abbey. 

"The great procession," said the London Times of that 
date, " started from Buckingham Palace at 10 o'clock in the 
morning. The first two state carriages, each drawn by six 
horses, held the Duchess of Kent and her attendants. The 
Queen's mother, regally attired, was enthusiastically 
cheered all along the way. The Queen in the grand state 
coach drawn by eight magnificent cream-colored horses, 
with flowing manes and tails, followed. 



84: LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

1 4 Alono- the line from Buckingham Palace to Westminster 
Abbey, military bands and battalions were stationed, playing 
the national airs and presenting arms ; and along the route 
swarms of people were scattering flowers, waving handker- 
chiefs, or making other joyous demonstration. 

" A scene of the utmost grandeur was displayed in West- 
minster Abbey on the entrance of the Queen and her train. 
On each side of the nave, reaching from the western door 
to the organ screen, were the galleries erected for the spec- 
tators. These were all covered with crimson cloth fringed 
with gold, and below were the lines of f ootguards. The old 
stone floor, impressed by footsteps of kings who had been 
crowned, was covered with purple and crimson, and under 
the center tower of the Abbey, inside the choir, a few steps 
from the floor, was a carpet of purple and gold, upon which 
was a platform covered with cloth of gold, on which was 
the golden ' Chair of Homage. ' The old chair in which all 
the sovereigns of England since Edward the Confessor had 
been crowned stood within the chancel, and the ' Stone of 
Sconce,' on which the ancient Scottish Kings had been 
crowned, was draped with a cloth of gold. The galleries, in 
which were seated foreign Princes, Embassadors and mem- 
bers of Parliament, were upholstered in crimson cloth and 
regal tapestries. In the organ loft the singers were dressed 
in white and the instrumental performers in scarlet ; and far 
above was a band of trumpeters, whose music, pealing over 
the heads of the assembly, produced a fine effect. 

' ' The foreign Princes and Embassadors were resplendent 
in the dazzling costumes of their orders, Prince Esterhazy 
surpassing all by an exhibition of precious stones sparkling 
on his person from head to foot. 

"In her royal robe of crimson velvet, furred with ermine 
and trimmed with gold lace, her Majesty entered, wearing 
the collars of her orders, and on her head a golden circlet, 
her long train held by eight young ladies of noble birth, 



ACCESSION AND CORONATION OF QUEEN VICTORIA. 85 

looking regal. As she entered the Abbey the choir and 
orchestra broke out into ' God Save the Queen ' ; then, as 
she advanced slowly toward the choir amid deafening cheers, 
the anthem ' I Was Glad ' was sung ; and after that the 
choir boys of Westminster chanted ' Vivat Victoria 
Regina ! ' The Queen moved slowly to a chair between the 
Chair of Homage and the altar, before which she knelt in 
prayer. 

' < On the conclusion of the anthem, the Archbishop of 
Canterbury and the high officers of state moved to the east 
side of the * theater, ' when the Primate said in a loud voice, 
' I here present to you Queen Victoria, the undoubted Queen 
of the realm, wherefore all of you who are come this day to 
your homage, are you willing to do the same? ' 

1 6 The ' recognition, ' < God save Queen Victoria, ' was 
cried by the people and repeated from every side of the 
' theater ' amid the pealing of trumpets and the beating of 
drums, the Queen standing through the ceremony and each 
time turning her head toward the point from which the 
< recognition ' came. 

"This was followed by the receiving and presenting of 
offerings, the reading of prayers, and by the sermon ; then 
followed the administration of the oath, and the catechism 
by the Archbishop in regard to the Established Church. 

" The Queen was conducted to the altar, where, kneeling 
with her hand upon the great Bible, she said in a clear, 
solemn voice : 'The things which I have here before prom- 
ised I will perform and keep. So help me God ? ' 

" She then kissed the book ; and the hymn ' Come, Holy 
Ghost, our souls inspire ' was sung by the choir, the Queen 
still kneeling. 

" Her Majesty seated herself in St. Edward's chair; a 
gorgeous cloth of gold was held over her head ; and the 
Archbishop anointed her with holy oil, in the form of a 
cross. Prayers were offered, the sword and spurs were pre- 



86 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

sented, her Majesty was invested with the imperial robe, 
the sceptre and the ring, the new crown was consecrated 
and blessed, and the Queen was crowned. 

i ' The moment the Queen was crowned by the Primate, 
the Peers and Peeresses lifted to their own heads their cor- 
onets and the Queen was conducted to the Chair of Homage. 

' ' The lords spiritual headed by the Primate, performed 
the first homage to the Queen, kneeling and kissing her 
hand. Then came the Dukes of Sussex and Cambridge, her 
Majesty's uncles, who, removing their coronets, and touch- 
ing them to the crown, solemnly pledged their allegiance 
and kissed the Queen on the left cheek. Then the other 
Peers did homage by kneeling, touching coronet to crown, 
and kissing her Majesty's hands. 

"When the sacrament was administered to the Queen she 
laid aside her crown while partaking, and again assuming 
it, received the final benediction." 

Sixty years have passed since then, and now the venerable 
Queen, rich in sacred memories and hallowed graves, who 
has held the chalice of widowhood in her hand for so many 
years, hears echoing among her Scottish hills the tolling of 
the Hawarden bells, and sends to that gracious lady who 
sits silently among the shadows that have fallen a message 
of tender sympathy and love — a message all the more 
pathetic because she feels her royal solitude growing more 
and more intense, as one by one the royal standard-bearers 
of her reign pass into the silent land. 

Sixty years ago ! When the Queen was crowned in the 
grand old Abbey witnesses tell how she wept most gr .eious 
tears as she heard the loyal shouts of the mighty multitude. 
Elizabeth Barrett Browning, the singing, suffe ring mghtin- 
gale, who filled the early years of the Victorian Age with 
deathless song, has crystalized those tears in the following 
delightful stanzas : 



ACCESSION AND CORONATION OF QUEEN VICTORIA. 87 

" O Maiden ! heir of kings ! 

A king- has left his place ! 
The majesty of death has swept 

All other from his face ! 
And thou upon thy mother's breast 

No longer lean adown. 
But take the glory for the rest, 
And rule the land that loves the best ! " 
She heard and wept — 

She wept, to wear a crown ! 

They decked her courtly halls ; 

They reined her hundred steeds ; 
They shouted at her palace gate, 

'* A noble Queen succeeds ! " 
Her name has stirred the mountains' sleep 

Her praise has filled the town ! 
And mourners God had stricken deep 
Looked hearkening up, and did not weep. 
Alone she wept, 

Who wept, to wear a crown ! 

She saw no purple shine, 

For tears had dimmed her eyes ; 
She only knew her childhood's flowers 

Were happier pageantries ! 
And while her heralds played the part, 

For million shouts to drown — 
" God save the Queen " from hill to mart- 
She heard through all her beating heart, 
And turned and wept — 

She wept, to wear a crown ! 

God save thee, weeping Queen ! 

Thou shalt be well beloved ! 
The tyrant's sceptre can not move, 

As those pure tears have moved ! 
The nature in thine eyes we see, 

That tyrants can not own — 
The love that guardeth liberties ! 
Strange blessing on the nation lies, 
Whose Sovereign wept — 

Yea ! wept to wear its crown ! 

God bless thee, weeping Queen, 

With blessing more divine ! 
And fill with happier love than earth's 

That tender heart of thine ! 
That when the thrones of earth shall be 

As low as graves brought down ; 
A pierced hand may give to thee 
The crown which angels shout to see ! 
Thou wilt not weep. 

To wear that heavenly crown ! 



CHAPTER XI. 

THE BUSY PRIVATE MEMBER. 

The world wants action. The world would move but slowly if all 
men were content with good dinners and a quiet life. 

— E. P. Roe. 

The man most man 

Works best for me; and if most man indeed, 

He gets his manhood plainest from his soul: 

While obviously this stringent soul itself 

Obeys our old law of development; 

The Spirit ever witnessing in ours, 

And Love, the soul of ^oul, within the soul, 

Evolving it sublimely. 

— Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 

Mr. Gladstone had hardly buckled on the armor of official 
service when the whirl-i-gig of time wrought its strange and 
unanticipated changes. On the eighth of April, 1835, Sir 
Robert Peel resigned with the downfall of the government, 
Mr. Gladstone became once more a private member of 
Parliament. But though a private member, he led a most 
active and interesting life. He occupied rooms at the 
Albany, and entered with great zest and enthusiasm into the 
thousand and one engao-ements which were common to 
public men in those days. He was regular in attendance in 
the House of Commons, and took almost as much interest in 
the debates of the House as he would have done had the 
responsibility of office rested on his shoulders. He went a 
good deal into society, where his presence Avas regarded as 
a great favor. He was very popular in aristocratic circles, 
the doors of the noble and the distinguished were wide open 
to bid him welcome, but there was little danger that the 
young statesman would dwindle down into a mere leader of 
fashionable society. Life was always very real, and very 

88 




In the Lobby of the House of Lobds. 




Herbert Gladstone. 



THE BUSY PRIVATE MEMBER. 89 

earnest with him. An important debate in the House of 
Commons had power to charm him from the most brilliant 
assemblage, and from the most delightful entertainment. 
He rallied to the support of the government when the affairs 
of Canada were up for discussion. 

A debate on the Church Kate question brought forth all 
his magnificent powers of oratory. This speech delivered 
in the spring of 1837 occupied no less than thirteen columns 
in Hansard. 

The Chancellor of the Exchequer, Mr. Spring Rice, had 
propounded a plan for the re-arrangement of Church rates, 
which he hoped would be satisfactory at once to the scruples 
of Dissenters and the claims of the Establishment. His 
scheme, in essence, was to take the whole property of the 
bishops, deans and chapters out of the hands of those digni- 
taries, and to vest them in the hands of a commission, under 
whose improved system of management, it was calculated, 
that after paying to their full present amount all existing 
incomes, a sum not less than that assigned by Lord Althorp 
might be saved and applied for the purposes of Church 
rates. When the House went into committee on Mr. Rice's 
resolutions, they were opposed by Sir Robert Peel on finan- 
cial as well as conscientious grounds. Mr. Gladstone fol- 
lowed in the same strain, and the peroration of his speech 
— in which he drew a comparison between Rome and Eng- 
land, and insisted upon religion being the basis of the great- 
ness of the State — was, perhaps, the most impassioned 
specimen of oratory with which he had yet favored the 
House. 

"It was not," said Mr. Gladstone, "by the active strength 
and resistless prowess of her legions, the bold independence 
of her citizens, or the well-maintained equilibrium of her 
constitution, or by the judicious adaptation of various 
measures to the various circumstances of her subject states, 
that the Roman power waj upheld. Its foundation lay in 



90 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

the prevailing feeling of religion. This was the superior 
power which curbed the license of individual rule, and 
engendered in the people a lofty disinterestedness and disre- 
gard of personal motives and devotion to the glory of the 
republic. The devotion of the Bomans was not enlightened 
by a knowledge of the precepts of Christianity; here relig- 
ion was still more deeply rooted and firmly fixed. And 
would they now consent to compromise the security of its 
firmest bulwark? No Ministry would dare to propose its 
unconditional surrender; but with the same earnestness and 
depth of feeling with which they should deprecate the open 
avowal of such a determination, they ought to resist the 
covert and insidious introduction of the principle." When 
the division came, however, the Ministry obtained a majority 
of 23, the numbers being — For the resolutions, 273; 
against, 250. 

Close upon the heels of this debate, the Anti-Slavery 
question came up for consideration. The wildest stories 
were afloat concerning the horrors to which negro appren- 
tices were subjected, and true or not true, the public mind 
was aroused, and such men as Lord Brougham and Dr. 
Lushington led the van in agitation. According to the 
conditions of the Emancipation Act, slavery had been abol- 
ished from the year 1831, but negro apprenticeship was not 
to terminate until 1840. Lord Brougham introduced the 
subject in the House of Lords, and moved the immediate 
abolition of negro apprenticeship. Spite of the harrowing 
records of cruelty and wrongs perpetrated on helpless 
youth, spite of the eloquence and logic of the distinguished 
advocate for freedom, spite of the allegation that attempts 
were being made to perpetuate slavery in a new form, the 
noble lords rejected the motion with a marked majority. 
On the twenty-ninth of March in this same year, Sir George 
Strickland proposed a similar resolution in the House of 
Commons. Mr. Gladstone delivered a long address extend- 



THE BUSY PRIVATE MEMBER. 91 

ing over thirty-three columns of the official reports. Mr. 
Gladstone called attention to the fact that when the Aboli- 
tion Act of 1833 was brought forward, those who were 
connected with West Indian slavery joined in the passing of 
the measure 

"We professed a belief," said Mr. Gladstone, that the 
state of slavery was an evil and a demoralizing state, and 
desired to be relieved from it; we accepted a price in com- 
position for the loss which was expected to accrue, and if 
after these professions and that acceptance we have endeav- 
ored to prolong its existence and its abuses under another 
appellation, no language can adequately characterize our 
baseness, and either everlasting ignominy must be upon us, 
or you are not justified in carrying this motion." But he 
utterly and confidently denied the charge, as it affected the 
mass of the planters, and as it affected the mass of the appren- 
tices. By the facts to be adduced he would stand or fall. 
"Oh, sir," he continued, "with what depth of desire have I 
longed for this day! Sore, and wearied, and irritated, per- 
haps, with the grossly exaggerated misrepresentations, and 
with the utter calumnies that have been in circulation with- 
out the means of reply, how do I rejoice to meet them in 
free discussion before the face of the British Parliament! 
And I earnestly wish that I may be enabled to avoid all 
language and sentiments similar to those I have reprobated 
in others." He then proceeded to show that the character 
of the planters was at stake. They were attacked both on 
moral and pecuniary grounds. The apprenticeship — as 
Lord Stanley distinctly stated when he introduced the 
measure — was a part of the compensation. Negro labor 
had a marketable value, and it would be unjust to those who 
had the right in it to deprive them of it. Besides, the 
House had assented to this right as far as the year 1840, 
and was morally bound to fulfil its compact. The committee 



92 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

presided over by Mr. Buxton had reported against the 
necessity for this change. 

Mr. Gladstone, with great fullness of detail, next exam- 
ined the relations between the planters and the negroes, and 
with regard to the cases of alleged cruelty, he showed that 
they had been constantly and enormously on the decrease 
since the period of abolition. He strongly deprecated all 
such appeals as were made to individual instances and exag- 
gerated representations, and endeavored, by elaborate sta- 
tistics, to prove that the abuses were far from being general. 
The use of the lash, as a stimulus to labor, had died a 
natural death in British Guiana. During the preceding five 
months only eleven corporal punishments had been inflicted 
in a population of seven thousand persons, yielding an 
average of seven hundred lashes by the year, and these not 
for neglect of work, but for theft. Towards the close of 
his speech, Mr. Gladstone thus effectively turned the tables, 
in one sense, upon his opponents by a tu quoque argument. 
"Have you," he went on to say, "who are so exasperated 
with the West Indian apprenticeship that you will not wait 
two years for its natural expiration, — have you inquired 
what responsibility lies upon every one of you, at the 
moment when I speak, with reference to the cultivation of 
cotton in America ? In that country there are near three 
millions of slaves. You hear not from that land of the abo- 
lition — not even of the mitigation — of slavery. It is a 
domestic institution, and is to pass without limit, we are 
told, from age to age ; and we, much more than they, are 
responsible for this enormous growth of what purports to 
be an eternal slavery . . . You consumed forty- 
five millions of pounds of cotton in 1837, which pro- 
ceeded from free labor ; and, proceeding from slave labor, 
three hundred and eighteen millions of pounds ! And this 
while the vast regions of India afford the means of obtain- 
ing, at a cheaper rate, and by a slight original outlay to 



THE BUSY PRIVATE MEMBER. 93 

facilitate transport, all that you can require. If, sir, the 
complaints against the general body of the West Indians 
had been substantiated, I should have deemed it an unworthy 
artifice to attempt diverting the attention of the House from 
the question immediately at issue, by merely proving that 
other delinquencies existed in other quarters ; but feeling 
as I do that those charges have been overthrown in debate. 
I think myself entitled and bound to show how capricious are 
honorable gentlemen in the distribution of their sympathies 
among those different objects which call for their applica- 
tion." He concluded by asking for justice alone, and 
demanded that the Legislature should not be deaf to that 
call. With the influence of this vigorous defense of the 
planters upon it, the House went to a division. Sir George 
Strickland's motion was lost, the numbers being — Ayes, 
215 ; Noes, 269 — majority, 54. The Times newspaper, on 
the following day, admitted the force of Mr. Gladstone's 
speech, which, from an oratorical point of view, was com- 
pletely successful. It also disposed of many allegations 
that had been made against the planters, although it did not 
remove the grounds upon which the anti-Slavery agitation 
was based, and by which evils it was justified. There were 
complaints of oppression and exaction which could not be 
denied, and the House of Assembly in Jamaica had by no 
means shown its readiness to fulfill that portion of the com- 
pact of 1833-4 which devolved upon it, and by which there 
had been secured to the West Indian proprietors a sum of 
not less than a hundred millions of dollars as an allowance 
for six years' apprenticeship. 

This speech added greatly to Mr. Gladstone's fame as a 
great debater. Here is an interesting description of the 
young orator as others saw him in these formative years. 

A constant attendant on the House of Commons speaks 
thus of him : 

' i Mr. Gladstone's appearance and manners are much in 



94 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

his favor. He is a fine-looking man. He is about the 
usual height, and of good figure. His countenance is mild 
and pleasant, and has a highly intellectual expression. His 
eyes are clear and quick. His eyebrows are dark and rather 
prominent. There is not a dandy in the House but envies 
what Truefit would call his ' fine head of jet-black hair.' It 
is always carefully parted from the crown downwards to his 
brow, where it is tastefully shaded. His features are 
small and regular, and his complexion must be a very 
unworthy witness if he does not possess an abundant stock 
of health. 

"Mr. Gladstone's gesture is varied, but not violent. 
When he rises he generally puts both his hands behind 
his back ; and having there suffered them to embrace 
each other for a short time, he unclasps them, and 
allows them to drop on either side. They are not permitted 
to remain long in that locality before you see them again 
closed together and hanging down before him. Their 
re-union is not suffered to last for any length of time. 
Again a separation takes place, and now the right hand is 
seen moving up and down before him. Having thus exer- 
cised it a little, he thrusts it into the pocket of his coat, and 
then orders the left hand to follow its example. Having 
granted them a momentary repose there, they are again put 
into gentle motion ; and in a few seconds they are seen 
reposing vis-a-vis on his breast. He moves his face and 
body from one direction to another, not forgetting to bestow 
a liberal share of his attention on his own party. He is 
always listened to with much attention by the House, and 
appears to be highly respected by men of all parties. He 
is a man of good business habits : of this he furnished 
abundant proof when Under-Secretary for the Colonies, 
during the short-lived administration of Sir Eobert Peel. " 

On the 8th of April, 1840, Mr. Gladstone made another 
of his impassioned speeches. Sir James Graham brought 



THE BUSY PRIVATE MEMBER. 95 

forward a resolution concerning the war with China arising 
from the traffic in opium. Mr. Gladstone rallied to the 
support of Sir James Graham, and in reply to a speech of 
Mr. Macaulay's on the previous evening, he said: 

"The right honorable gentleman opposite spoke last night 
in eloquent terms of the British flag waving in glory at 
Canton, and of the animating effects produced on the minds 
of our sailors by the knowledge that in no country under 
heaven was it permitted to be insulted. But how comes it 
to pass that the sight of that flag always raises the spirit of 
Englishmen? It is because it has always been associated 
with the cause of justice, with opposition to oppression, 
with respect for national rights, with honorable commercial 
enterprise ; but now, under the auspices of the noble lord, 
that flag is hoisted to protect an infamous contraband traffic, 
and if it were never to be hoisted except as it is now hoisted 
on the coast of China, we should recoil from its sight with 
horror, and should never again feel our hearts thrill as 
they now thrill with emotion, when it floats proudly and 
magnificently on the breeze." Notwithstanding the elo- 
quence arrayed against them, Ministers obtained a bare 
majority upon the proposed vote of censure, the numbers 
being — For Sir J. Graham's motion, 262 ; against, 271. 



CHAPTER XII. 

THE CHAMPION OF THE CHURCH. 

Religion crowns the statesman and the man, 
Sole source of public and of private peace. 

— Edward Young. 

Christianity rose out of the dying ashes of Paganism, restored 
conscience to its supremacy, and made real belief in God once more 
possible.— L. J. Froude. 

The Church has for long- lived upon the divinity of its attitudes 
and upturned eyes, and the blackness of its cloth. While it was thus 
postu ing before the altar, the congregation has slipped out into the 
fresh air to find the life of humanity or the indescribable richness of 
the fields where there are no vain repetitions. 

— David Swing. 

Mr. Gladstone's achievements in the fields of literature 
would entitle him to a very enviable renown. Literature 
was the recreation rather than the business of his life. The 
fascinations of logical research wooed him on the one 
hand, and the romance of classic history and lore charmed 
him on the other. In the sombre shades of the cloister and 
the cell, or in the mystic splendors of the Homeric age, he 
was equally at home. He was bowed with awe amid the 
thunderings and lightnings of Sinia, or stood enraptured 
amid the fitful glories of high Olympus. He had unspeak- 
able deiight in translating "Rock of Ages" into the Latin 
tongue, or in reviewing "Ecce Homo," or in writing a 
treatise on Wedgwood China. He loved the wide fields of 
literature, and trod them with a free and gracious step, but 
it is reasonable to conclude that the circumstances of the 
time had much to do in inspiring his first serious literary 
task. 

In the autumn of 1838, Mr. Gladstone published his first 

06 



THE CHAMPION OF THE CHURCH. 97 

book : "The State in Its Kelations with the Church." In 
this country, where the dream of " A Free Church in a Free 
State " is realized to perfection, it is somewhat difficult to 
explain to an American what such terms as " Dissenter " and 
"Nonconformist" mean in England even to-day, and much 
more difficult to explain what such terms involved in the 
days when the young member for Newark set his glittering 
lance in rest, and came forth as the champion of the Church 
as by law established. Nonconformity was becoming a 
mighty factor in the nation. Nonconformity was young 
Puritanism full grown, and included all those who from 
deep religious scruples, sought to worship God according to 
their conscience. They were the spiritual descendants of 
the men who in 1618 met King James I. at Hampden Court 
palace and told him that, while they were loyal to his person 
and his throne, they could not conform to the teachings of 
the Church of England nor follow the order of its ritual. 
The angry, foolish King declared that he would make them 
conform or he would " harry them out of the land." The 
former thing he could not do, but the latter he did, and in 
1620 they sailed in the Mayflower from Southampton water, 
and, leaving the homes they loved and the graves that were 
sacred, they journeyed toward the setting sun that on " the 
bleak New England shore " they might found a colony for 
God and King James, where they might enjoy the luxury 
of religious freedom. 

In deathless song Mrs. Hemans has marked and immor- 
talized the landing of this heroic company : 

And the heayy night hung- dark, 

The hills and waters o'er ; 
When a band of exiles moored their bark 

On the wild New England shore. 

Not as the conqueror comes, 

They, the true-hearted, came ; 
Not with the roll of the stirring" drums, 

And the trumpet that speaks of fame. 



98 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

Not as the flying come — 

In silence and in fear ; 
They shook the depths of the desert gloom 

With their hymns of lofty cheer. 

Amid the storm they sang, 

And the stars heard, and the sea ; 
And the sounding aisles of the dim woods rang 

To the anthem of the free. 

The ocean eagle soared 

From his nest by the wild waves' foam, 
And the rocking pines of the forest roared — 

This was their welcome home. 
# * * * * 

What sought they thus afar ? 

Bright jewels of the mine ? 
The wealth of seas the spoils of war ? 

They sought a faith's pure shrine ! 

Ay, call it holy ground, 

The soil where first they trod — 
They have left unstained what there they found — 

Freedom to worship God 

The Nonconformist claimed he was the true Conformist, for 
he was loyal to his conscience and his God. Nonconformity 
was growing in numbers, in character, and in influence. It 
did not care to assume the dignified name of " Church" to 
its edifices ; it was perfectly content to worship in a 
" Chapel. " Its ministers were not regarded by bigoted 
ecclesiastics as properly ' ' ordained ' :i or duly qualified to 
discharge the sacred rites of religion, but they preached with 
power and wrought great work for God. Nonconformity 
built its sanctuaries and colleges, and opened and conducted 
schools of education, and voluntarily paid for everything 
without asking a cent from the national coffer. The leaven 
of nonconformity was working. In the midland counties 
of England especially, men who had the confidence of the 
people, were banding themselves together to agitate for the 
redress of grievances. Such men as Dr. Legge, the Rev. 
J. P. Mursell, Carvell Williams and Edward Miall formed 



THE CHAMPION OF THE CHURCH. 99 

" An Anti-State Church Association," which was merged at 
last into "The Society for the Liberation of Religion from 
State Patronage and Control," briefly known as "The Lib- 
eration Society," which still exists, as it believes with suffi- 
cient cause, and is holding its annual meetings in this month 
of May, in this year of grace, 1898. That nonconformity 
was seriously and silently at work Mr. Gladstone knew full 
well. If he came forth at this interesting and suggestive 
period to defend and champion the Church of England, it 
was not because he was afraid. He was not much given to 
the theory that "There's a divinity that doth hedge a 
King," but he did believe that the Church of England was 
God's church, divinely summoned to a divine work. In all 
of which he was, no doubt, perfectly right. The noncon- 
formist minister held precisely the same view of the church 
to which God called him to minister in holy things. Mr. 
Gladstone was not an alarmist. He did not haste to the 
rescue of a church in danger ! He called the serious atten- 
tion of England to the foundations on which what he 
regarded the most sacred institution of the country was 
founded. The book commanded widespread attention at 
once. Bitter opponents were compelled to recognize the 
author's remarkable ability. The work was inscribed : 

i ' To the University of Oxford : 

"Tried and not found wanting through the vicissitudes 
of a thousand years ; in the belief that she is providentially 
designed to be a fountain of blessings, spiritual, social and 
intellectual, to this and other countries, to the present and 
future times, and in the hope that the temper of these 
pages may be found not alien to her own." 

How this alumnus loved his alma mater ! 

The brilliant Macaulay in his searching criticism said : 
"We believe we do him no more than justice when we say 
that his abilities and demeanor have obtained for him the 



100 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

respect and good will of all parties. * * * * That a 
young politician should, in the intervals afforded by his 
Parliamentary avocations, have constructed and propounded, 
with much study and mental toil, an original theory on a 
great problem in politics, is a circumstance which, abstracted 
from all considerations of the soundness or unsoundness of 
his opinions, must he considered as highly creditable to him. 
We certainly can not wish that Mr. Gladstone's doctrines 
may become fashionable among public men. But we 
heartily wish that his laudable desire to penetrate beneath 
the surface of questions, and to arrive, by long and intent 
meditation, at the knowledge of great and general laws, 
were much more fashionable than we at all expect it to 
become. " 

This is neither time nor place to enter into any exhaustive 
criticism of Mr. Gladstone's first contribution to the litera- 
ture of his age. Apart altogether from its subject matter, 
it is well worth careful perusal. The one word ' ' thor- 
oughness " that marks all his work applies to this carefully 
written treatise. One might well imagine that this theme 
had been the one commanding study of his life. The book 
went through four editions, each adition being revised and 
considerably enlarged. We quote only one passage, which 
has become quite famous, by reason of its relation to the 
Irish Church, which in due time Mr. Gladstone disestab- 
lished and disendowed. 

' ' The Protestant legislature of the British Empire main- 
tains in the possession of the Church property of Ireland 
the ministers of a creed professed, according to the parlia- 
mentary enumeration of 1835, by one-ninth of its popula- 
tion, regarded with partial favor by scarcely another ninth, 
and disowned by the remaining seven. And not only does 
this anomaly meet us full in view, but we have also to con- 
sider and digest the fact that the maintenance of this 
Church for near three centuries in Ireland has been contem- 



THE CHAMPION OF THE CHURCH. 101 

poraneous with a system of partial and abusive government, 
varying in degree of culpability, but rarely, until of later 
years, when we have been forced to look at the subject and 
to feel it, to be exempted in common fairness from the 
reproach of gross inattention (to say the very least) to the 
interests of a noble but neglected people. 

"But however formidable at first sight these admissions, 
which I have no desire to narrow or to qualify, may appear, 
they in no way shake the foregoing arguments. They do 
not change the nature of truth and her capability and des- 
tiny to benefit mankind. They do not relieve government 
of its responsibility, if they show that that responsibility 
was once unf elt and unsatisfied. They place the legislature 
of this country in the condition, as it were, of one called 
to do penance for past offenses ; but duty remains unaltered 
and imperative, and abates nothing of her demand on our 
services. It is undoubtedly competent, in a constitutional 
view, to the government of this country to continue the 
present disposition of church property in Ireland. It 
appears not too much to assume that our imperial legisla- 
ture has been qualified to take, and has taken in point of 
fact, a sounder view of religious truth than the majority of 
the people of Ireland, in their destitute and uninstructed 
state. We believe, accordingly, that that which we place 
before them is, whether they know it or not, calculated to 
be beneficial to them, and that if they know it not now 
they will know it when it is presented to them fairly. 
Shall we, then, purchase their applause at the expense of 
their substantial, nay, their spiritual interests ? 

< ' It does, indeed, so happen that there are also powerful 
motives on the other side, concurring with that which has 
here been represented as paramount. In the first instance, 
we are not called upon to establish a creed, but only to main- 
tain an existing legal settlement, where our constitutional 
right is undoubted. In the second, political considerations 



102 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

tend strongly to recommend that maintenance. A common 
form of faith binds the Irish Protestants to ourselves, while 
they, upon the other hand, are fast linked to Ireland ; and 
thus they supply the most natural bond of connection 
between the countries. But if England, by overthrowing 
their Church should weaken their moral position, they would 
be no longer able, perhaps no longer willing, to counteract 
the desires of the majority, tending, under the direction of 
their leaders (however, by a wise policy, revocable from that 
fatal course), to what is termed national independence. Pride 
and fear, on the one hand, are, therefore, bearing up against 
more immediate apprehension and difficulty on the other. 
And with some men these may be the fundamental consid- 
erations ; but it may be doubted whether such men will not 
flinch in some stage of the contest, should its aspect at any 
moment become unfavorable." 

Here follow Mr. Gladstone's chief reasons for the main- 
tenance of the Church Establishment : u Because the gov- 
ernment stands with us in a paternal relation to the people, 
and is bound in all things to consider not merely their 
existing tastes, but the capabilities and ways of their 
improvement ; because it has both an intrinsic competency 
and external means to amend and assist their choice ; because 
to be in accordance with God's mind and w T ill it must have 
a religion, and because to be in accordance with its con- 
science that religion must be the truth, as held by it under 
the most solemn and accumulated responsibilities ; because 
this is the only sanctifying and preserving principle of soci- 
ety, as well as to the individual that particular benefit 
without which all others are worse than valueless ; we must 
disregard the din of political contention and the pressure of 
worldly and momentary motives, and in behalf of our regard 
to man, as well as our allegiance to God, maintain among 
ourselves, where happily it still exists, the union between 
Church and State." 






THE CHAMPION OF THE CHURCH. 103 

Macaulay observed that Mr. Gladstone's whole theory in 
this work rested upon one great fundamental proposition — 
viz. : " That the propagation of religious truth is one of the 
chief ends of government, as government, " and he proceeded 
to combat this theory. 

The Quarterly Review says : " Mr. Gladstone is evidently 
not an ordinary character ; though it is to be hoped that 
many others are now forming themselves in the same school 
with him, to act hereafter upon the same principles. And 
the highest compliment which we can pay him is to show 
that Ave believe him to be what a statesman and philosopher 
should be — indifferent to his own reputation for talents, and 
only anxious for truth and right." 

Lord Macaulay observed upon the same question of style: 
' ' Mr. Gladstone seems to us to be, in many respects, 
exceedingly well qualified for philosophical investigation. 
His mind is of large grasp ; nor is he deficient in dialectic 
skill. But he does not give his intellect fair play. There 
is no want of light, but a great want of what Bacon would 
have called dry light. Whatever Mr. Gladstone sees is 
refracted and distorted by a false medium of passions and 
prejudices. His style bears a remarkable analogy to his 
way of thinking, and, indeed, exercises great influence on 
his mode of thinking. His rhetoric, though often good of 
its kind, darkens and perplexes the logic which it should 
illustrate. Half his acuteness and diligence, with a barren 
imagination and a scanty vocabularly, would have saved him 
from almost all his mistakes. He has one gift most danger- 
ous to a speculator — a vast command of a kind of language, 
grave and majestic, but of vague and uncertain import — of 
a kind of language which affects us much in the same way 
in which the lofty diction of the Chorus of Clouds affected 
the simple-hearted Athenian." 



CHAPTER XIII. 

WEDDING BELLS. 

For contemplation he and valor formed; 

For softness she and sweet attractive grace. — John Milton. 

But happy they! the happiest of their kind, 

Whom gentle sta's unite, and in one fate 

Their hearts, their fortunes, and their beings blend. 

— James Thomson. 

There's bliss beyond all that the minstrel has told, 

When two that are linked in one heavenly tie, 
With heart never changing, and brow never cold, 

Love on through all ills, and love on till they die. 
One hour of a passion so sacred is worth 

W T hole ages of heartless and wandering bliss; 
And oh! if there be an Elysium on earth 

It is this — it is this! — Thomas Moore. 

' ' Of making many books there is no end, and much study 
is a weariness of the flesh. " The labor and research involved 
in the production of * ' The State in its Relation with the 
Church," ended in a partial breakdown of Mr. Gladstone's 
health. His nervous system had been severely tested, and 
his eyesight became seriously impaired. He was ordered 
by his doctors to give up reading for a time and go abroad. 
To give up reading was almost like giving up breathing, 
and wandering about the sleepy cities of Europe was little 
to his taste. To this earnest active soul, this kind of thing 
was too much like dreaming the useful hours away. But 
he was wisely obedient to his doctors and without delay he 
packed his portmanteau and started for sunny sleepy Italy. 
The winter of 1838-9 was spent in the Eternal City. His 
sojourn in Rome was very delightful from the beginning. 
He formed and fostered many happy friendships. Among 

104 



WEDDING BELLS. 105 

others, he met with his chief reviewer, the brilliant versatile 
Macaulay, and his great and admired friend, Edward Man- 
ning, afterwards Cardinal Manning, with whom he went 
frequently to the English College to visit the already re- 
nowned Cardinal Wiseman. But these were not all the 
friends Mr. Gladstone met. The tired student in search 
of health and better powers of seeing, beheld a vision that 
brightened and beautified his young life, that afterwards 
made glad and brave and strong the midway years of a busy 
public career, and then in mellowing glory filled the sunset 
of his venerable days with peace and sacred calm. The 
widow and daughters of Sir Stephen Richard Glynne, of 
Hawarden Castle, Flintshire, were also spending this same 
winter in Rome. Mr. Gladstone was not an entire stranger 
to the family — the eldest son of the Glynne's was a warm 
personal friend of his. Three years before he had paid a 
visit to Hawarden Castle, and now the friendship being 
renewed, Mr. Gladstone became a frequent and always a 
welcome visitor at the Glynne's. Lady Glynne had two 
daughters and they were passing fair. Queen Victoria 
writing to a member of the Glynne family says that when 
she was a girl, she remembered hearing people about her 
talking of the "two beautiful Miss Glynne's." Mr. Glad- 
stone was also greatly impressed with the beauty of these 
young ladies, especially of the elder one, Miss Catharine 
Glynne, admiration grew into esteem, and esteem developed 
into love. So the old, old story is repeated; but not the 
silly story of "love at first sight" — a thoughtless visionary 
fascinated by the varied splendors of a butterfly's wing — all 
worship and adoration till the next butterfly comes along — 
but the story of a love that had time to be born and grow; 
and taking deep root, blossomed in growing beauty *and 
fragrance with the roses of half a hundred years. V 

Mr. Gladstone and Miss Catharine Glynne became engaged. 
What a grand place Rome is for courtship! How this 



106 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

happy pair would wander about the palaces of the Csesars; 
they richer, and a thousand times more happy than the 
Emperors of old renown! What opportunities of quiet 
strolling these scenes of the dead and buried past afforded! 
The majestic Coliseum in the glory of noontide or under the 
paler light of the shimmering moonbeams! He who has not 
seen the Coliseum by moonlight has not seen it in its most 
solemn sacred beauty. Doubtless they wandered along the 
Appian Way, and investigated the Mamertine prison where 
Paul "the prisoner of the Lord abode," and went down into 
the Catacombs many and many a time. And what historic 
stories Mr. Gladstone would tell, until Miss Glynne wondered 
that so young a gentleman should have learned so much. It 
was really very wonderful ! When next the honeysuckles of 
July were twining round the cottage homes of the peasants 
of Ha warden * 6 they two were wed, and merrily rang the 
bells ! " On the 25th of July, 1839, the wedding was cele- 
brated at Hawarden. It was a double wedding. Mr. Gladstone 
was married to Miss Catharine Glynne ; Miss Mary Glynne 
was married at the same time to the Fourth Lord Lyttelton. 
To say that this union of Mr. Gladstone to Miss Glynne was 
an ideal marriage, is only stating a truth to which fifty 
eventful years have borne beautiful accumulating testimony. 

Mrs. Gladstone was the heiress of Hawarden, her brother 
— Mr. Gladstone's old time friend — Sir Stephen Glynne, 
the ninth and last Baronet of the line, being childless. The 
young couple were welcomed to the Castle of Hawarden as 
their home, and at the death of Sir Stephen it passed into 
their sole inheritance. 

Their, union has been blessed with eight children. Of 
the four sons the eldest, William Henry, sat in one House 
of Commons as Member for Whitby, in another represent- 
ing East Worcestershire. A man of gentle and retiring 
disposition, he did not take kindly to the turmoil of politics, 
and when opportunity presented itself, gratefully with- 



WEDDING BELLS. 107 

drew. The second son is Hector of Ha warden. In 1875 
the torrent of abuse to which Mr. Gladstone was subjected 
took, in a somewhat obscure London weekly paper, the line 
of accusation that the ex-Premier had presented his son, 
ordained in 1870, to one of the richest and easiest livings of 
the Church. This was a statement that might well have 
been passed over in silence. It touched Mr. Gladstone to the 
quick. He wrote : ' ' This easy living entailed the charge of 
8,000 people scattered over 17,000 acres, and fast increasing 
in number. The living is not in the gift of the Crown. 
I did not present him to the living or recommend him to 
be presented. He was not ordained in 1870. My rela- 
tions," he proudly and truthfully added, "have no special 
cause to thank me for any advice given by me to the 
Sovereign in the matter of Church patronage. " 

His third son, Henry, followed the early family traditions 
by entering upon commercial pursuits, spending some years 
in India. He married the daughter of Lord Rendel, and 
still stands apart from politics. The only born politician 
among the sons is the youngest. Mr. Herbert Gladstone 
made his first appearance in the political arena by gallantly 
contesting Middlesex in April, 1880. Defeated there, he 
was returned for Leeds two months later, and still represents 
a Leeds Division in the House of Commons. For a while 
he acted as Private Secretary to his father the Premier, 
though he received no salary. He became in succession a 
Lord of the Treasury and Financial Secretary to the War 
Office, the Secretaryship to the Home Office being the high- 
est post to which his omnipotent father promoted him. 
Upon Mr. Gladstone's retirement in 1894, colleagues who 
had long worked with Mr. Herbert Gladstone made haste to 
do him fuller justice, promoting him to the position of First 
Commissioner of Works. 

A singularly modest record this of the family of an illus- 
trious statesman, four times Chief Minister of a nation whose 



108 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

wealth is illimitable, whose power reaches to the ends of the 
earth. < 6 We are, happily, so accustomed in England to find 
our statesmen free from the charge of nepotism, that we 
take Mr. Gladstone's innocence as a matter of course. " But 
few more suggestive chapters in his history could be written I 
than that which shows the son of a man, who has made many 
bishops, rector of the family parish in Flintshire ; one of 
his daughters married to a schoolmaster ; a second a school- 
mistress, whilst another of his sons long sat at an office desk. 

When not in London engaged in Ministerial or political 
business Mr. Gladstone has dwelt among his own people in 
his Flintshire home. Of Hawarden Castle, its history and 
its belongings, we have the pleasure of presenting a graphic 
and authoritative account from the pen of the late W. H. 
Gladstone. 

The estate of Hawarden was purchased by Serjeant 
Glynne from the agents of Sequestration after the execution 
of James Earl of Derby in 1651. It came first into the 
Stanley family in 1443, when it was granted by Henry VI. 
to Sir Thomas Stanley, Comptroller of his Household. 
This grant was recalled in 1450, but in 1454 it was restored 
to Sir Thomas, afterwards Lord Stanley. After his death 
it descended to his second wife, Margaret Countess of Rich- 
mond ; on whose decease it returned to Thomas Earl of 
Derby, and remained in that family till 1651. 

On the Restoration, when the Commons rejected the Bill 
for restoring the estates of those lords which had been alien- 
ated in the late usurpation, Charles Earl of Derby com- 
pounded with Serjeant Glynne for the property of Hawarden 
and granted it to him and his heirs. 

The old Castle was possessed by the Parliament in 1643, 
being betrayed to Sir William Brereton, but was besieged 
soon after by the Royalists, and surrendered to Sir Michael 
Earnley, December 5th, 1643. The Royalists held it till 
1645, when it was taken by General Mytton. It was soon 



i 



WEDDING BELLS. 109 

after dismantled, and its further destruction effected by its 
owner, Sir William Glynne, in 1665. 

There is no tradition of the Earls of Derby making the 
Castle their residence subsequent to the death of the Count- 
ess of Richmond ; but it is certain that it was not rendered 
untenable till dismantled by order of the Parliament in 1647. 

The Glynne family were first heard of at Glyn Lly von, in 
Carnarvonshire, in 1567. A knighthood was conferred on 
Sir William, father of Serjeant, afterwards Chief Justice, 
Glynne. Sir William, son of the Chief Justice (who also 
sat in Parliament for Carnarvonshire in 1660), was created 
a Baronet in 1661, during his father's lifetime. About this 
date the family became connected with Oxfordshire, and did 
not reside at Hawarden till 1727, when Sir Stephen, second 
Baronet, built a house there. A new one was, however, 
built shortly after, in 1752, by Sir John Glynne, who, by 
an alliance with the family of Ravenscroft, acquired the 
adjoining property of Broadlane. This house, then called 
Broadlane House, is the kernel of the present residence 
known as Hawarden Castle. Sir John Glynne (sixth Baro- 
net) applied himself to improving and developing the prop- 
erty on a large scale by inclosing, draining, and planting ; 
and under him the estate grew to its present aspect and 
dimensions. (The park contains some 200 acres ; the 
plantations cover about 500. The whole estate is upwards 
of 7,000.) In 1809 the house, built of brick, was much 
enlarged and cased in stone in the castellated style, and 
under the name it now bears. Further improvements were 
made by the late Sir Stephen Glynne in 1831. The new 
block, however, containing Mr. Gladstone's study, was not 
added till 1864. 

Mr. Gladstone's room has three windows and two fire- 
places and is completely lined with bookcases. There are 
three writing-tables in it. The first Mr. Gladstone uses for 
political, the second for literary work (Homeric and others) 



110 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

when engaged upon such. The third is occupied by Mrs. 
Gladstone. The room has busts and other likenesses of 
Sidney Herbert, Duke of Newcastle, Tennyson, Canning, 
Cobden, Homer, and others. In a corner may be seen a 
specimen of an axe from Nottingham, the blade of which is 
singularly long and narrow, and contrasts strongly with the 
American pattern, to which Mr. Gladstone is much addicted. 

Mr. Gladstone sold his collections of china and pictures 
in 1874, retaining^ however, those of ivories and antique 
jewels, exhibited at South Kensington and elsewhere. 

His library contains over 10,000 volumes, and is very 
rich in theology. Separate departments are assigned in it 
to Homer, Shakespeare, and Dante. 

Chief portraits in the house are those of Sir Kenelni 
Digby, by Yandyck, an ancestor of Honor a Conway, Sir 
John Glynne's wife ; Lady Lucy Stanley, daughter of 
Thomas Earl of Northumberland, mother to Sir K. Digby's 
wife ; Jane Warburton, afterwards Duchess of Argyll, 
great-granddaughter to Chief Justice Glynne ; Sir William 
Glynne, first Baronet, ascribed to Sir Peter Lely ; Chief 
Justice Glynne as a young man, and another in his judicial 
robes ; Lady Sandys, grandmother to Sir William Glynne's 
wife ; Lady Wheler, daughter of Sir Stephen Glynne ; Sir 
John Glynne with Honora Conway his wife, holding a draw- 
ing of the new house at Broadlane ; Sir Robert Williams, 
of Penrhyn, who married a daughter of the Chief Justice ; 
Catherine Grenville, afterwards Lady Braybrooke and 
mother of Lady Glynne ; Mrs. Gladstone, by Saye ; Lady 
Lyttelton, by Saye ; the late Sir Stephen, by Roden ; Mr. 
Gladstone's own portrait, by W. B. Richmond ; Viscountess 
Vane, nee Hawes ; Charles I. , Henrietta Maria his Queen, 
and Charles II. , copies from Vandyck ; and several others, 
one attributed to Gainsborough. There are busts of Pitt, 
Sir John Glynne, Rev. Henry Glynne, Mrs. Gladstone, Mr. 
Gladstone by Marochetti, and other statuary. 



CHAPTER XIV. 

AT WORK IN EARNEST : REPEAL OF THE CORN LAWS. 

Oh, noble soul! which neither gold, nor love nor scorn can bend. — 
Charles Kingsley. 

Mr. Gladstone is evident'y not an ordinary character. And the 
highest compliment which we can pay him is to show that we believe 
him to be what a statesman and philosopher should be — indifferent 
to his own reputation for talents, and only anxious for truth ana 
right — Quarterly Review. 

Be noble ! and the nobleness that lies 
In other men, sleeping but never dead, 
Will rise in majesty to meet thine own ; 
Then wilt thou see it gleam in many eyes, 
Then will pure light around thy path be shed. 
And thou wilt never more be sad and lone. 

— James Russell Lowell. 

In the year 1843, Mr. Gladstone, at the age of thirty-three, 

became President of the Board of Trade, on the retirement of 

Lord Ripon from the Board of Control. The following year 

Mr. Gladstone took the remarkable course of resigning his 

position, to the great annoyance of his party, on account of 

what they had regarded as an eccentric scruple. Sir Robert 

Peel proposed to increase the grant which government was 

in the habit of making Maynooth College, an establishment 

for the education of the Roman Catholic priesthood. In 

the course of the debate on the address Mr. Gladstone 

explained his reasons for this step, and set a good deal of 

speculation at rest by the announcement that his resignation 

was due solely to the government intentions with regard to 

Maynooth College. The contemplated increase in the May- 

pooth endowment and the establishment of nonsectarian col- 

111 



112 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

leges were at variance with the views he had written and 
uttered upon the relations of the Church and the State. c ' I am 
sensible how fallible my judgment is," said Mr. Gladstone, 
' ' and how easily I might have erred ; but still it has been 
my conviction that, although I was not to fetter my judg- 
ment as a member of Parliament by a reference to abstract 
theories, yet, on the other hand, it was absolutely due to 
the public and due to myself that I should, so far as in me 
lay, place myself in a position to form an opinion upon a 
matter of so great importance, that should not only be 
actually free from all bias or leaning with respect to any 
consideration whatsoever, but an opinion that should be 
unsuspected. On that account I have taken a course most 
painful to myself in respect to personal feelings, and have 
separated myself from men with whom, and under whom, I 
have long acted in public life, and of whom I am bound to 
say, although I have now no longer the honor of serving 
my most gracious Sovereign, that I continue to regard them 
with unaltered sentiments, both of public regard and private 
attachment. " 

Mr. Gladstone added that he was not prepared to war 
against the religious measures of his friend, Sir Robert 
Peel. He would not prejudge such questions, but would 
give them calm and deliberate consideration. A high tribute 
was paid to the retiring Minister both by Lord John Russell 
and the Premier. The latter avowed the highest respect 
and admiration for Mr. Gladstone's character and abilities ; 
admiration only equaled by regard for his private character. 
He had been most unwilling to lose one whom he regarded 
as capable of the highest and most eminent services. 

This is one of the episodes in Mr. Gladstone's career that 
justify Mr. Stead in describing him as having a Quixotic 
conscience. 

The fifth decade of the nineteenth century found England 
beset with anxiety and peril. 1£ the cloud in her fair sky 



AT WORK IN EARNEST! REPEAL OF THE CORN LAWS. 113 

was " no bigger than a man's hand," it was the herald of a 
wild and pitiless storm. The young Queen, who had been 
moved to " gracious tears " as she heard the wild plaudits 
of her loyal and enthusiastic subjects on the occasion of her 
coronation, soon became aware of very distinct undertones 
of discontent on the part of the great masses of the people. 
The toilers of the land in many thousands ' ' began to be in 
want." Wages were dropping lower and lower, and the 
necessities of life were rising higher and higher in price. 

Poverty in its saddest forms stood knocking at hundreds 
of doors. Trade was hopelessly bad. Firms in scores, in 
all the large cities, counted in the general estimate to be " as 
safe as the bank," became bankrupt. The universal confi- 
dence gave way. There had been four or five bad harvests 
in succession. Ireland had, of course, her full measure of 
these sorrows. Potato-rot, famine and plague threatened 
all her borders. Far and near, through all the British isles, 
there was heard the cry of hard times. The old wail of 
the prophet Jeremiah was heard throughout the land : 
' ' The children cry for bread and no man breaketh it unto 
them." 

The distress increased on every hand. In all the large 
cities of England thousands of people were largely, and very 
many wholly dependent on the charities the Poor Law ad- 
ministered. In such towns as Coventry and Nottingham 
every third or fifth person you met was to some extent a 
pauper. Women pawned their wedding rings to keep their 
children from starving. The taxes on human food were 
enormous and iniquitous. In the interests of the wealthy 
landlords corn was taxed at such a rate that the poor and 
their children had to starve. Of course England was not 
able to grow corn enough to supply her own great family, 
but there was corn enough and to spare waiting at the gates 
of the nation, but it was not allowed to enter until it was 
so highly taxed that the interests of the landlords were 



HJr LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

conserved whatever became of the hapless toiling millions. 
The condition of affairs was threatening and perilous. It 
was averred that almost the whole cost of government was 
gained by taxes on raw materials and human food. It was 
publicly stated, without denial by those who would gladly 
have made the denial if they could, that the cost of the 
government reached the vast sum of $120,000,000, and that 
this sum was obtained in the following manner: $100,000,- 
000 were gained by taxes on seventeen articles alone, these 
articles comprising mainly food and raw material; that for 
the balance of $20,000,000 not less than seventeen hundred 
articles were taxed. The problem before the English nation 
was an exceedingly difficult one. But it was a problem that 
must be met. Something had to be done, the people could 
not be left to starve and die. The question of the taxation 
of human food became the one absorbing theme of discussion. 
England has always been celebrated for its various and 
multitudinous taxes. The conviction was taking deep root 
that it was a blunder and a crime, an iniquity and a shame 
to tax human food. In a vigorous speech delivered in Drury 
Lane theater, John Bright uttered these impressive words: 

< < What was the state of the population of this country ? 
It was so bad that when he had been abroad he had been 
ashamed to acknowledge that he was an Englishman. It 
was said of the celebrated writer, Charles Dickens, that he 
had described low life so well that he must have lived in a 
workhouse. The reply was that he had lived in England, 
which was one great workhouse. The country was filled 
with paupers, and we were now devouring each other. In 
Leeds there were 40,000 persons subsisting on charity. A 
friend of his was then in the room who told him that in 
Sheffield there were no less than 12,000 paupers, and that 
there were as many more who were as badly off as paupers. " 

Concerted action in the direction of the repeal of these 
iniquitous taxes on the bread of the poor, seemed the only 



AT WORK IN EARNEST! REPEAL OF THE CORN LAWS. 115 

possible way out of the difficulty. We quote a passage 
from Justin McCarthy's " History of Our Own Times," 
dealing with this threatening episode in English life in the 
early forties : 

" A movement against the Corn Laws began in London. 
An Anti-Corn-Law Association on a small scale was formed. 
Its list of members bore the names of more than twenty 
members of Parliament, and for a time the society had a 
look of vigor about it. It came to nothing, however. Lon- 
don has never been found an effective nursery of agitation. 
It is too large to have any central interest or source of 
action. It is too dependent socially and economically on 
the patronage of the higher and wealthier classes. A new 
centre of operations soon had to be sought, and various 
causes combined to make Lancashire the proper place. In 
the year 1838 the town of Bolton-le-Moors, in Lancashire, 
was the victim of a terrible commercial crisis. Thirty out 
of the fifty manufacturing establishments which the town 
contained were closed ; nearly a fourth of all the houses of 
business were closed and actually deserted ; and more than 
five thousand workmen were without homes or means of 
subsistence. All the intelligence and energy of Lancashire 
was roused. One obvious guarantee against starvation was 
cheap bread, and cheap bread meant of course the abolition 
of the Corn Laws, for these laws were constructed on the 
principle that it was necessary to keep bread dear. A meet- 
ing was held in Manchester to consider measures necessary 
to be adopted for bringing about the complete repeal of these 
laws. The Manchester Chamber of Commerce adopted a 
petition to Parliament against the Corn Laws. The Anti- 
Corn-Law agitation had been fairly launched. 

' ' The real leader of the movement was Mr. Richard Cobden. 
Mr. Cobden was a man belonging to the yeoman class. He 
had received but a moderate education. His father dying 
while the great Free Trader was still young, Richard Cobden 



116 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

was taken in charge by an uncle, who had a wholesale ware- 
house in the City of London, and who gave him employment 
there. Cobden afterwards became a partner in a Manchester 
printed cotton factory; and he traveled occasionally on the 
commercial interests of this establishment. He had a great 
liking for travel ; but not by any means as the ordinary 
tourist travels ; the interest of Cobden was not in scenery, 
or in art, or in ruins, but in men. He studied the condition 
of countries with a view to the manner in which it affected 
the men and women of the present, and through them was likely 
to affect the future. On everything that he saw he turned 
a quick and intelligent eye ; he saw for himself and thought 
for himself. Wherever he went he wanted to learn some- 
thing. He had in abundance that peculiar faculty which 
some great men of widely different stamp from him and 
from each other have possessed ; of which Goethe frankly 
boasted, and which Mirabeau had more largely than he was 
always willing to acknowledge ; the faculty which exacts 
from every one with whom its owner comes into contact 
some contribution to his stock of information and to his 
advantage. Cobden could learn something from everybody. 
It is doubtful whether he ever came even into momentary 
acquaintance with any one whom he did not compel to yield 
him something in the way of information. He traveled 
very widely for a time when traveling was more difficult 
work than it is at present. He made himself familiar with 
most of the countries of Europe, with many parts of the 
East, and what was then a rare accomplishment, with the 
United States and Canada. He did not make the familiar 
grand tour and then dismiss the places he had seen from his 
active memory. He studied them and visited many of them 
again to compare early with later impressions. This was 
in itself an education of the highest value for the career he 
proposed to pursue. When he was about thirty years of 
age he began to acquire a certain reputation as the author 



AT WORK IN EARNEST: REPEAL OF THE CORN LAWS. 117 

of pamphlets directed against some of the pet doctrines of 
old-fashioned statesmanship ; the balance of power in Europe; 
the necessity of maintaining a State Church in Ireland ; the 
importance of allowing no European quarrel to go on without 
England's intervention ; and similar dogmas. Mr. Cobden's 
opinions then were very much as they continued to the day 
of his death. He seemed to have come to the maturity of 
his convictions all at once, and to have passed through no 
further change either of growth or of decay. But whatever 
might be said then or now of the doctrines he maintained, 
there could be only one opinion as to the skill and force 
which upheld them with pen as well as tongue. The tongue, 
however, was his best weapon. If oratory were a business 
and not an art — that is, if its test were its success rather 
than its form — then it might be contended reasonably enough 
that Mr. Cobden was one of the greatest orators England 
has ever known. Nothing could exceed the persuasiveness 
of his style. His manner was simple, sweet, and earnest. 
It was persuasive, but it had not the sort of persuasiveness 
which is merely a better kind of plausibility. It persuaded 
by convincing. It was transparently sincere. 

Side by side with Richard Cobden stood the eloquent 
John Bright. These two were the great apostles of this 
humane crusade. It will be interesting to record here the 
occasions on which these great Tribunes of the people first 
become associated in this great work. Mr. Bright says : 

"The first time I became acquainted with Mr. Cobden 
was in connection with the great question of education. I 
went over to Manchester to call upon him and invite him to 
come to Rochdale to speak at a meeting about to be held in 
the school-room of the Baptist Chapel in West street. I 
found him in his counting-house. I told him what I wanted; 
his countenance lighted up with pleasure to find that others 
were working in the same cause. He without hesitation 
agreed to come. He came and he spoke; and though he 



118 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

was then so young a speaker, yet the qualities of his speech 
were such as remained with him so long as he was able to 
speak at all — clearness, logic, a conversational eloquence, a 
persuasiveness which, when combined with the absolute 
truth there was in his eye and in his countenance, became a 
power it was almost impossible to resist." 

Still more remarkable is the description Mr. Bright has 
given of Cobden's first appeal to him to join in the agita- 
tion for the repeal of the Corn Laws : 

' i I was in Leamington , and Mr. Cobden called on me. 
I was then in the depths of grief — I may almost say of despair, 
for the light and sunshine of my house had been extin- 
guished. All that was left on earth of my young wife, 
except the memory of a sainted life and a too brief happi- 
ness, was lying still and cold in the chamber above us. 
Mr. Cobden called on me as his friend, and addressed me, as 
you may suppose, with words of condolence. After a time 
he looked up and said : ' There are thousands and thousands 
of homes in England at this moment where wives and 
mothers and children are dying of hunger. Now when the 
first paroxysm of your grief is passed, I would advise you 
to come with me, and we will never rest until the Corn 
Laws are repealed. ' " 

Never was more earnest work done in England than by 
that heroic company of men who vowed that they would 
give no sleep to eyes and no rest to their eyelids till the 
taxes were removed from the bread of the poor. Addresses 
were delivered all over England, Ireland and Scotland. 
Tons of literature on the subject were distributed far and 
wide. For five years the work of education went on in the 
country, and then after three years' struggle in the Houses 
of Parliament the victory was won. Forced, as it has been 
often said, by the famine in Ireland, Sir Robert Peel boldly 
proposed to his cabinet to remove all the restrictions on the 
importation of human food. His cabinet of course refused 



AT WORK IN EARNEST: REPEAL OF THE CORN LAWS. 119 

to support him in this matter. In November of 1845, Lord 
John Russell declared himself a convert to Free Trade. 
This moved Sir Robert Peel once more to urge his cabinet 
to accept the inevitable. They were as stubborn as ever, 
and Sir Robert Peel resigned. The Queen sent for Lord 
John Russell, but he declined the honor of forming a gov- 
ernment. Sir Robert Peel was recalled, and he at once 
proceeded to construct a cabinet favorable to the repeal of 
the Corn Laws. In this cabinet Mr. Gladstone appears. 
He was given the position of Secretary of State for the 
Colonies. In the work of repeal Mr. Gladstone became 
Sir Robert's right-hand man. 

Mr. Gladstone was not in Parliament during these stirring 
times. Next to the Premier in the Cabinet, and one of the 
greatest forces at work bringing about the triumph of the 
cause of the suffering poor, the House and the Country 
were deprived of his matchless eloquence in this grand bat- 
tle for free and untaxed bread. The Duke of Newcastle 
who was an implacable Protectionist, was resolved on 
opposing Mr. Gladstone should he seek re-election for New- 
ark after accepting office in a Free Trade government. Mr. 
Gladstone did not contest the borough and remained without 
a seat in Parliament till the general election of 1847. 

Mr. Gladstone had become a thorough Cobdenite in the 
best sense of the term. His reverence and regard for the 
man was deep and intense. Speaking of him he said : " I 
do not know that there is in any period a man whose public 
career and life were nobler or more admirable. Of course 
I except Washington. Washington, to my mind, is the 
purest figure in history." 

On the morning of the 16th of May, 1846, at half past 
four o'clock in the morning, the Bill for the repeal of the 
Corn Laws was passed by a majority of ninety-eight. In 
the closing scene of this great conflict Mr. Disraeli took 
part, and poured that memorable tirade of bitterness against 



120 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

Sir Robert Peel. He said that Sir Robert Peel throughout 
his political life had traded on the intelligence of others ; 
that his career was a great appropriation clause ; that he 
was the burglar of other men's intellects ; that in our whole 
history there was no statesman who had committed so much 
petty larceny on so great a scale * * * * He had 
bought his party on the cheapest and had sold it on the 
dearest terms. 

The merciless critic was answered by Lord John Russell 
in that terse, well remembered phrase in which he pointed 
out that Mr. Disraeli was much happier in invective than 
in argument, and that his speech had little relation to the 
bill before the house. 

Sir Robert Peel resigned. Mr. Cobden said in his own 
trenchant, homely eloquence, "He has lost office, but he 
has gained a country." The closing words of Sir Robert 
Peel on retiring from office deserve to be held in sacred 
remembrance. After a generous testimony to the part Mr. 
Cobden had played in the battle for untaxed bread, Sir 
Robert concludes : 

' ' I shall surrender forever, severely censured, I fear, by 
many honorable gentlemen who from no interested motive, 
have adhered to the principles of protection as important to 
the welfare and interest of the country ; I shall leave a name 
execrated by every monopolist who from less honorable mo- 
tives maintained protection for his own individual benefit, 
but it may be that I shall leave a name sometimes remem- 
bered with expressions of good will in those places which 
were the abodes of men whose lot it is to labor, and to earn 
their daily bread by the sweat of their brow — a name re- 
membered with expressions of good will, when they shall 
recreate their exhausted strength with abundant and untaxed 
food, the sweeter because it is no longer leavened by a sense 
of injustice." 




Lord. Hartington : Duke of Devonshire. 
Successor of Mr. Gladstone as Leader of the Liberal Party. 




Mb. Gladstone Addeessing His Cabinet. 



CHAPTER XV. 

THE BKITISH HOUSE OF COMMONS — A SKETCH. 

When any of the four pillars of government are mainly shaken, 
or weakened — which are religion, justice, counsel and treasure — men 
had better pray for fair weather — Lord Bacon. 

Neither Montaigne in writing" his essays, nor Descartes in building" 
new worlds, nor Burnet in framing" an antediluvian earth, no, nor 
Newton is discovering- and establishing* the true laws of nature on 
experiment and a sublime geometry, felt more intellectual joys than 
he feels who is a real patriot, who bends all the force of his under- 
stand! rg, and directs all his thoughts and actions, to the good of his 
country. — Lord Boiingbroke. 

We assemble parliaments and councils to have the benefit of their 
collected wisdom; but we necessarily have, at the same time, the in- 
conveniences of their collected passions, prejudices and private 
interests. By the help of these, artful men overpower their wisdom, 
and dup2 its possessors; and if we may judge by the acts, arrets, and 
edicts, all the world over, for regulat ng commerce, an assembly of 
great men is an assembly of the greatest fools upon earth. — Benjamin 
Franklin. 

If you should ask a true-born Englishman where you 
could find the center of civilization — the very heart of the 
world — he would instantly unroll a map of England, and 
without a word point you to the City of London. If fur- 
ther bent on the acquisition of useful knowledge you should 
ask where you would be likely to find the greatest delibera- 
tive assembly in the world, the same complacent gentleman 
would be sure to answer : " Why in the British House of 
Commons, of course ! " There is so much truth in both 
these answers that they may be accepted without discussion, 
and if there be any doubters they will not be found among 
those who know much of London, or who have been fre- 
quent visitors to the House of Commons. 

121 



V22 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

From the far-away days of the old Saxon ' ' Wittenage- 
mote " down to these later days in which — 

Freedom slowly broadens down 
From precedent to precedent. 

the history of the British Parliament, or company of " par- 
lers " or "talkors," is most interesting and instructive. 
The establishment of the House of Commons in the days of 
the royal Edwards was practically the recognition of the 
just right of the people to have a share in their own gov- 
ernment. The number of the members of the House 
of Commons varied in various reigns. In the days of 
Edward III. they numbered 250. In the reign of Henry 
VIII. they reached 300. At the dawn of this century the 
number was fixed at 658, where it now stands. 

Some of the most brilliant pages in the history of the 
British House of Commons were written in the early years 
el the seventeenth century, in the reigns of James I. and of 
his son, the hapless Charles. As Carlyle says, the " Iliad v 
of that age has not yet been written or sung. The conflict 
of the Commons with, the tyranny of the Star Chamber and 
the High Commission Court is a study for all lovers of free- 
dom for all coming years. It was not so much in the tri- 
umphs of Long Marston Moor, of Naseby, of Dunbar, or 
Worcester, that freedom had occasion to rejoice ; as in the 
passage of the memorable " Bill of Rights'" by the per- 
sistence of the outraged Commoners in the third Parliament 
of Charles I. That bill ranks with such wve&t state docu- 
ments as Magna Charta, as the Declaration of Independence, 
and the Proclamation of Emancipation. And even we, in 
this great free land, owe more than we can ever tell to that 
Bill of Rights, which won liberty for the world when the 
seventeenth century Avas in its early years. That bill was a 
dream of freedom, which America has interpreted and 
translated into fact. 



THE BRITISH HOUSE OF COMMONS A SKETCH. 123 

The House of Commons in Westminster is one of the 
most mixed of all public buildings. It seems least of all 
fitted for the purpose to which it is devoted. Of course 
there is a great deal of beauty about the House of Parlia- 
ment. The Victoria Tower, overlooking the Thames, a 
statelier pile than Giotto's Campanile in Florence, has been 
called "a dream of architecture." This may all be true. I 
have no doubt architecture has its dreams. But architect- 
ure can have nightmare as well as dreams, or the Houses of 
Parliament would not be what they are. 

The House of Commons is a large building in the form 
of a parallelogram, with graded benches on either side run- 
ning the whole length of the hall. At one end is the 
Speaker's chair, a dark, heavy sort of an affair, that looks 
a good deal like a bishop's throne that has stolen out of 
church to play hide and seek and got lost. In front of the 
chair is a very large table at which sit " three learned 
clerks," duly wigged and gowned. There are a goodly 
number of books of reference on the table ; also two large 
dispatch boxes, one for the leader of the government and 
one for the leader of the opposition. On the front of the 
table lies the gorgeous "mace," or " fool's bauble," as 
Cromwell irreverently called it. The party in power sits 
at the right hand of the Speaker, the party in opposition on 
the left. Independent members — " mugwumps," as they 
may be justly described — sit lower down the House, or 
" below the gangway." The galleries on the right and left 
of the Speaker are reserved for noble lords. The lower 
gallery in front of the Speaker is known as the Speaker's 
gallery, above which is the smallest gallery of all, where 
the people of England gather, at least a few of them, when- 
ever they get a chance. Behind the Speaker is another 
small gallery reserved for ladies. It is screened off from 
public gaze by a very beautiful gilded lattice work, and 



124 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

has generally been spoken of somewhat rudely as < < the 
ladies' cage." 

What a battle field for freedom, for civil and religious 
liberty this house has been through many generations ! And 
never more so than in the mid-years of this century, when 
Disraeli and Gladstone and Bright were in all their glory. 
The sagacious Hebrew, with his Asiatic mysteries, worthy 
of the devotees of modern Theosophy, has passed away. 
The silver trumpet of John Bright, the great tribune of the 
English people, is forever silent. And now Gladstone's 
fiery eloquence is hushed. He, too, has entered the "silent 
land." When these three men were in all their prime thera 
was beautiful fighting all along the line. It would be 
exceedingly difficult to find three more dissimilar men, who 
yet seemed to be somehow the complement of each other, and 
so formed a wonderful combination. The spirits of Maehi- 
avelli, of Milton, and Cromwell dwelt in these men, and 
each in his turn did masterly work. The Sphinx of Egypt 
was not more silent and mystical than Disraeli, when he 
chose the silent mood. I have often seen him sit with 
folded arms, and eye-glass in eye, for the space of half an 
hour, as immovable as though he was stone dead. If silence 
was ever golden, Disraeli knew its worth. Some said the 
Prince of the Powers of the air was not more subtle, and in 
many a campaign speech was applied to him Tennyson's 
line — 

Only the devil knows what he means. 

And yet it cannot be denied that Disraeli did his country 
grand service. He made the proud — and some thought 
impertinent — boast that he had ''educated his party." But 
there was truth at the bottom of the boast, and it was good 
for the party and for the country that this education had 
taken place. 

William Ewart Gladstone was the exact opposite of his 
great opponent. Where. Disraeli was mystical Gladstone 



THE BRITISH HOUSE OF COMMONS — A SKETCH. 



O K 



was transparent. There wa^ ever the ring of the profound- 
est sincerity in all he said. He seemed to bring into the 
contentions and conflicts of political life the mingled atmos- 
phere of the college and the cloister. Life was sacred and 
earnest, marching to stately music, such as Milton sung. 
There was no affectation of goodness in Mr. Gladstone. It 
was all real. Even Disraeli on one occasion paid him the 
rare compliment of saying: "The right honorable gentle- 
man at the head of Her Majesty's government has not 
one redeeming vice." 

The typical Englishman, John Bright, or, as he was 
called, "The Noblest Roman of Them All," completed a 
strange trinity of great men. He was the plain, blunt man 
who talked right on, in simple language, now beautiful, 
now pathetic, now humorous, and now impassioned. John 
Bright's organ had a host of stops, and he knew exactly 
when to pull them out. A member of the Society of 
Friends, Quaker John, like George Fox, of old, he loved a 
fight, and his good sword was heard in clanging blows on 
the shields of his compeers as distinctly as on those of his 
foes. An anticipated speech from any of these men was 
enough to crowd the house, and every conceivable subterfuge 
in any way consistent with truth and honor was resorted to, 
to beg, buy, borrow or steal a way into the speaker's or the 
stranger's gallery. Such occasions are burnt in upon the 
memory. On one occasion when Mr. Gladstone was at the 
helm of the state, it was deemed necessary to suspend the 
habeas corpus act in Ireland. A special meeting of Parlia- 
ment was called for Saturday — a most unusual course. 

The house was crowded. Irish members being there in 
great numbers. Mr. Gladstone announced the purpose of 
the government, and went into a narrative of sad occur- 
rences just communicated by the Chief Secretary for Ire- 
land, showing the need of immediate action. John Bright 
was in his seat below the gangway, manifesting by certain 



126 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

signs well known to his friends — such as twitchings at his 
neck-cloth and movings about on the bench — a more than 
common interest in the occasion. The Bill was about to 
pass, more as a matter of form than anything else, giving 
the executive authority to repress any threatened upris- 
ings — when suddenly cries were heard all over the house : 

< < Bright ! Bright ! Bright ! ' ' 

A moment before there had been the usual indication, 
" Divide! Divide! Divide!" signifying readiness to vote. 
But now the cry was for Bright, especially from the Irish 
members, most of whom sat below the gangway. 

Mr. Bright arose and apologizing to the Irish members, 
said it was not his purpose to oppose the bill before the 
House, indeed he intended to vote for it, but he had risen to 
ask if " restraint of liberty " was the best and only cure the 
government had to offer for Ireland's wrongs. He wanted 
to know how it was that the Irishman got on well enough 
and was made much of and found to be useful everywhere 
except in his own country. Peal after peal of applause 
broke forth from all quarters of the House, and from Tory 
and Liberal and Eadical came ringing cheers — not all in 
sympathy with his sentiments, but all in bonds to spell of 
his masterly oratory — as the grand old champion of right- 
eousness rang out his plea for Ireland. 

" What Ireland needs is justice. The only cure for her 
wounds is the balm of righteousness. If I had my way I 
would do justice to Ireland, and then I would open the prison 
doors and let every political prisoner go free and trust to 
righteousness for the issues !" 

Then pointing his finger to Disraeli, he asked if he was 
not willing to forego all party spirit for the sake of doing 
a great and lasting good, not to Ireland only, but to the 
whole empire and the world. Cheer followed cheer, and 
then turning squarely around to the Treasury bench, 
he asked his right honorable friends ii they had no better 



THE BRITISH HOUSE OF COMMONS A SKETCH. 127 

things to offer for Ireland, and then, tremulous with pas- 
sionate fervor, added : " Is this task beyond your power ? 
If so, would it not become you to come down from your 
high places and learn the business of statesmanship before 
you assume to discharge its functions V John Bright sat 
down, there was silence for a moment, and Mr. Gladstone 
rose pale and agitated. 

He declared he had never heard Mr. Bright exercise his 
great powers with such consummate skill. He confessed 
that England had blundered over Ireland generation after 
generation, and only pleaded that he was as sincere as the 
honorable member for Birmingham in his desire to heal 
the sorrows of the Emerald. This was one of Mr. Bright's 
impromptu speeches. It was a crystal stream suddenly 
bursting from an exhaustless fountain. Many said it was 
one of the greatest speeches of his life. I am bold enough 
to express the opinion that that night was an epoch; that 
that speech woke up Mr. Gladstone and helped the cause of 
Ireland to a position where it could successfully challenge 
the attention of all thoughtful men. 

It was a privilege to be in the House of Commons any 
time during the debate on the disestablishment and disen- 
dowment of the Irish church. Disraeli was, as he said, on 
the side of the angels, and stood firmly for the maintenance 
of the existing state of things. And he never was over 
burdened with scruples as to the methods. About this time 
I remember an amusing scene. Disraeli had been speaking 
for nearly an hour ; Gladstone was lying with his head well 
back on the front Treasury bench, one would think, nearly 
asleep. Disraeli was trying to make the worse appear the 
better reason, as was his frequent custom. All in a moment 
Mr. Gladstone sprang to his feet and seized his hat, com- 
pletely smashing it down out of all shape on the dispatch 
box in his excitement. The house roared with amazement 

" And even the ranks of Tuscany, 
Could scarce forbear to cheer." 



128 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

"I rise to a point of order," said Mr. Gladstone, "the 
right honorable gentleman knows perfectly well that in the 
statement he has just made he is misleading this House and 
the country at large, and I call the attention of the House 
and of the country to a careful consideration of the state- 
ment." He then sat down. He had utterly ruined a good 
silk hat, but then he had gained his point, and punctured 
William Disraeli's beautiful bubble. 

After the tumult had subsided Disraeli readjusted his 
eye-glasses, and, with a most profound bow, said, smil- 
ing sardonically as he spoke : "Mr. Speaker, I congratu- 
late myself that there is a substantial piece of furniture 
between my right honorable friend and myself." 

It was five o'clock on a beautiful morning when the great 
battle concerning the Irish Church came to an end. Mr. 
Disreali began to speak about 1:30 o'clock. And hb speech, 
the speech of a forlorn hope, w^as one of the most wonder- 
ful efforts of his brilliant career. It was nearly 4 o'clock 
when Gladstone rose to close the debate. He was worn, 
feeble, but he rose to the occasion, and as the growing day 
broke gently through the stained windows he seized the 
beautiful omen, "Time is on our side!" 1 he said, "the 
night has passed, the day is breaking ! ' And then, with 
an impassioned peroration he closed that memorable debate 
which freed Ireland from her religious inequalities. 

Disraeli retired to the House of Lords, but he made the 
name of Disraeli so great that the title " Beaconsfield " will 
not unlikely fade away. Xot long before his death he paid 
a last visit to the House of Commons. It was quite pathetic 
to mark the veteran warrior looking down from the peers' 
gallery on the s.'cne of his former conflicts. 

In these memories of the House of Commons it Avould be 
unpardonable to forget the bold stand John Bright took as 
a friend of America, while noble lords and brainless wits 
were looking on ; while America was bleeding at every pore, 



THE BRITISH HOUSE OF COMMONS — A SKETCH. 129 

in their simpering idiocy prophesying that " the American 
bubble was going to burst," John Bright dared to stand 
almost alone to plead the cause of the Union. He spoke 
such words of burning enthusiasm against the departure of 
the Alabama from Laird's shipyard, that his life was 
threatened by many who had only threats for arguments. 
When Roebuck wanted to have the South recognized, John 
Bright answered him in such words that Roebuck, who had 
won the unenviable name of "Tearem," was silenced, and 
silenced forever. A recent visit to the House of Commons 
revealed the awful ravages of time. AVhat with the changes 
of time and caprices of constituencies it seemed as if, with 
but a few exceptions, Charles Lamb's sad line was most 
appropriate — 

" All are gone, the old familiar faces." 



CHAPTER XVI. 

MEMBER FOR OXFORD. 

Yet I doubt not through the ages, 

One increasing purpose runs, 
And the thoughts of men are widened 

With the process of the suns. 

— Lord Tennyson. 

We do not serve the dead — the past is past, 
God lives, and lifts his glorious morning up 
Before the eyes of men awake. 

— Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 

The less government we have the better — the fewer 
laws, and the less confided power. The antidote to this 
abuse of formal government is, the influence of private 
character, the growth of the individual. — R. W. Emerson. 

On the 23d of July, 1847, the Queen dissolved Parlia- 
ment in person. The elections that followed were very con- 
siderably influenced by ecclesiastical questions, the May- 
nooth Grant especially being a considerable factor in the 
agitation of the time. Many of Mr. Gladstone's friends 
urged him to stand for the honored seat of the University 
of Oxford, and truth to tell, he was not without some am- 
bition to represent his beloved alma mater in the councils 
of the nation. In the memorable year 1847 he appeared as a 
candidate for the University of Oxford. 

The seat of SirR. H. Inglis was regarded as perfectly safe. 
The real fight was between Mr. Round and Mr. Gladstone. 
Mr. Round was a member of the ultra Protestant and Tory 
school. To conserve the existing condition of things, and 
to stand four-square in bold defense against any innova- 
tions, even should they assume the vaunted titles of neces- 
sary reforms, was Mr. Round's fixed policy. 

130 



MEMBER FOR OXFORD. 131 

Mr. Gladstone was too magnanimous to sail for a mo- 
ment under false colors. He had struggled for many years 
for the exclusive support of the national religion by the 
state, but he had struggled in vain. Voluntaryism was 
gaining ground on every hand. The champion of the church 
finally confessed that the time was against him. 

In an address to the electors of Oxford, referring to this 
matter, Mr. Gladstone said : 

"I found that scarcely a year passed without the adop- 
tion of some fresh measure involving the national recog' 
nition and the national support of various forms of religion, 
and in particular that a recent and fresh provision has been 
made for the propagation from a public chair of Ar ; an or 
Socinian doctrines. The question remaining for me was, 
whether aware of the opposition of the English people, I 
should set down as equal to nothing, in a matter primarily 
connected not with our own but with their priesthood, the 
wishes of the people of Ireland; and whether I should avail 
myself of the popular feeling in regard to the Roman Cath- 
olics for the purpose of enforcing against them a system 
which we had ceased by common consent to enforce against 
Arians — a system above all, of which I must say that it 
never can be conformable to policy, to justice, or even to 
decency, when it has become avowedly partial and one- 
sided in its application." 

This frank statement antagonized many of the Oxford 
voters who were somewhat inclined to vote for Mr. Glad- 
stone, and it certainly strengthened the hands of those who 
were bent on his defeat. The press generally approved of 
Mr. Gladstone's position and spoke warmly of his talents 
and industry. They regarded him still as a true and valiant 
friend of the church, but hailed the advance he had made 
in ceasing to call upon the Legislature to ignore all forms 
of religion but those by law established, or which were ex- 
actly coincident with his own form of faith. The Times 



132 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

said: " His election, unlike that of Mr. Round, while it 
sends an important member to the House of Commons, will 
certainly be creditable, and may be valuable to the uni- 
versity; and we heartily hope that no negligence or hesita- 
tion among his supporters may impede his success. The 
candidate for Oxford had been marching along a path of 
liberal views and broadening sentiments since fifteen years 
ago he entered the House of Commons, membc r f o ■ New- 
ark, and the rising hope of the Tory party." 

The election was watched with great interest not only by 
those deeply concerned about church matters, but far and 
near it was felt, that Mr. Gladstone was worthy of the honor 
he asked, and that it would be a very good thing for Oxford 
that she should have Mr. Gladstone for her representative. 
The nomination took place on the 29th of July, 1847. The 
ceremony of nomination having been completed, the voting 
commenced in the Convocation-house of the University. 
The place was densely crowded. Mr. Gladstone's friends 
rallied from far and near. At the close of the poll the 
members stood : 

Inglis, - ' r - * 1,700 

Gladstone, - - - 997 

Rounds, - 824 

It was the most enthusiastic election Oxford had ever 
known, and there were a larger number of votes cast than 
had ever been cast before. 

At this election, to the amazement of many thoughtful 
people, Baron Rothschild was elected for the City of London. 
That he should have been elected at all was a surprise, but 
much more, that he should be elected for so important a seat 
as the City of London. There was nothing illegal in the 
election of a Jew, but the difficulty was, that when elected, 
the statutory declarations required of him virtually pre- 
cluded him from taking his seat in the House of Commons. 



MEMBER FOR OXFORD. 133 

Soon after the meeting of Parliament with a view to over- 
coming this difficulty, Lord John Russell proposed a resolu- 
tion, which affirmed the eligibility of Jews to all functions 
and offices to which Roman Catholics were admissible by 
law. Sir R. H. Inglis, the senior member of the Univer- 
sity of Oxford, bitterly opposed the motion, but it was 
supported with equal ardor by Mr. Gladstone who asked 
whether there were any grounds for the disqualification of 
the Jews which distinguished them from any other class in 
the community. 

" With regard to the stand now made for a Christian 
Parliament," said Mr. Gladstone, " the present measure did 
not make a severance between politics and religion; it only 
amounted to a declaration that there was no necessity for 
excluding a Jew, as such, from an assembly in which every 
man felt sure that a vast and overwhelming majority of its 
members would always be Christian. It is said that by 
admitting a few Jews they would un-Christianize Parliament; 
that was true in word, but not in substance. He had no 
doubt that the majority of the members who composed it 
would always perform their obligations on the true faith of 
a Christian. It was too late to say that the measure was un- 
christian, and that it would call down the vengeance of 
heaven. When he opposed the last law for the removal of 
Jewish disabilities, he forsaw that if we gave the Jew muni- 
cipal, magisterial, and executive functions, we could not 
refuse him legislative functions any longer. The Jew was 
refused entrance into that House because he would then be 
a maker of the laws ; but who made the maker of the law ? 
The constituencies; and into these constituencies we had 
admitted the Jews. Now, were the constituencies Christian 
constituencies ? If they were, was it probable that the 
Parliament would cease to be a Christian Parliament ? " 

The year 1848 was memorable as a year of unrest and 
agitation, all Europe was perturbed, the French had arevo- 



134 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

lution in hand, and especially in England the Chartist move- 
ment met its Waterloo. This subject cannot be dismissed 
in a paragraph. Chartism had a much firmer hold on the 
hearts of the people than was generally understood. 
Unwise headstrong leaders postponed a great cause as they 
had done again and again. When they clamored that 
there should be an entire cessation of work till the Charter 
was law, they only succeeded in setting back the sunbeams 
on the dial of time. The late M. M. Trumball gave a most 
exhaustive essay on the whole question of English Chartism 
as viewed from an American stand point from which we 
quote freely. He says: 

The People's Charter was a code of principles drawn up 
in the form of an Act of Parliament, with a long preamble. 
It is tedious reading, but it may be easily condensed into a 
demand for the American representative system, although 
the abolition of monarchy and aristocracy was postponed to 
a more convenient season. Then the Kings and the Lords 
were to be quietly supplanted by a President and a Senate. 
The original draft of the Charter contained a demand for 
woman suffrage; but as radical sentiment in England was 
not then quite radical enough for that, it was thought 
expedient to throw the women overboard, because "they 
loaded the Charter down." The six points of the Charter 
were — 1. Universal Suffrage. 2. Vote by Ballot. 3. An- 
nual Parliaments. 4. Equal Electoral Districts. 5. No 
Property Qualification for Members of Parliament. 6. Pay- 
ment of Members. The name, "The People's Charter," 
was. given to it by O'Connell, who said that the man who 
was not a Chartist "was either a knave profiting by misrule, 
or a fool upon whom reason and argument could make no 
impression." This title also distinguished it from Magna 
Charta, the charter of the barons and middle classes. In 
Maima Charta the serf s, the bulk of the English laborers, 
were not considered as having any rights which other peo- 



MEMBER FOR OXFORD. 135 

pie were bound to respect. The phrase JVtdhcs liber homo 
excluded them from the benefits of the Great Charter. 

The People's Charter was a political remedy for social 
evils, therefore barren. It could not cure hunger, although 
the Chartists thought it could. The impulse and energy of 
Chartism came from social injustice, and this could only be 
removed by social reformation and improvement. The 
Chartists thought that American abundance came from the 
Constitution of the United States, and not from the opulent 
material resources of this imperial domain. 

Chartism as an organized menace to the government, was 
decisively overthrown on April 10, 1848, in a downpour of 
rain, in a battle of its own seeking, and on a field of its 
own choice. In February the French revolution was ac- 
complished. This inflamed the imagination of the Chartists 
and stimulated them to attempt a similar achievement. The 
French revolution literally forced the hand of the Chartist 
leaders. They must now crystallize their talk into action 
or abdicate. Accordingly they appointed the revolution 
for the 10th of April. To that end a " National Conven- 
tion," composed of delegates chosen by the various Chartist 
organizations of Great Britain, was to meet in London as a 
revolutionary parliament, and direct the campaign. At the 
meetings where those delegates were elected, the most vio- 
lent and Jacobinical speeches were made. At Nottingham, 
where George Julian Harney was chosen delegate, it was 
resolved that the Chartists " would no longer speak to 
Parliament in black and white. They would now speak by 
bayonets." This was the tone and character of all the 
speeches, and many martial songs were sung to the tune of 
the Marseillaise. 

The " National Convention" met in London and their 
plan of revolution had as much resemblance to the French 
[method as a Sunday-school picnic has to the battle of Get 
tysburg. The strategy and tactics were ineffective and 



136 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

weak. A petition containing five million signatures was to 
be carried to the House of Commons on a wagon drawn by 
eight stout horses and escorted by half a million men. An- 
other half a million, not in the ranks, were to render out- 
side assistance. The ostensible reason for this vast numer- 
ical display was merely an imposing procession of citizens 
to present a petition to Parliament, but the genuine pur- 
pose was to overawe the legislature and the government. 
The various divisions were to meet in their respective local- 
ities and march to Kennington Common. There they were 
to be formed into one vast army and march to the House of 
Commons. By this brilliant manoeuvre the Chartists put 
the river Thames between themselves and their objective 
point, leaving the bridges in possession of the enemy. Had 
all the rest of the strategy been skilfully carried out, this 
blunder would have been fatal to the enterprise. 

The challenge of the Chartists was at once accepted by 
the government. The cabinet met and sent for the Duke of 
Wellington. He was then seventy-nine years old, deaf, 
rickety and shrunken to about one hundred and ten pounds; 
but the iron will had not grown rusty, nor was his martial 
nerve impaired. He was eager to command, and his vanity 
rejoiced that he had not been passed over for some younger 
man. He promised to protect the government and defend 
London against the Chartists. His tactics and strategy 
were as strong as those of the Chartists were weak. He 
ordered all the troops to London that could possibly be 
spared; he fortified the Tower, the Bank of England and 
all the public buildings; he directed that all shops and places 
of business be closed on the 10th of April. Three hundred 
thousand special constables were sworn in, of whom Napo- 
leon III was one. The government, feeling perfectly s° 
cure, now assumed the offensive, and on the 9th of April ; 
proclamation was issued prohibiting the procession ap- 
pointed for the following day. 



MEMBER FOR OXFORD. 137 

As soon as the government proclamation appealed. Fer- 
gus O'Connor, Member of Parliament for Nottingham, 
Commander-in-Chief of the Chartists, hoisted the white flag 
and surrendered. He appeared next morning in the " Na- 
tional Convention " and implored that the whole programme 
be abandoned. He was overruled by the Convention and 
compelled to take his seat in the u Triumphal" car. As 
for the rank and file, most of them weakened when they 
read the proclamation and saw the preparations made by 
the government. Some of the divisions, however, as- 
sembled at the rendezvous appointed for them, and marched 
through the city to Kennington. They were not molested 
by the soldiers or police, but as soon as they had crossed 
the river, the Duke of Wellington took possession of the 
bridges and commanded all the approaches to the city with 
his cannon. An officer was then sent to Kennington to in- 
form the commander of the Chartist army that the proces- 
sion would not be allowed to cross the bridges, and the 
information was accompanied by an order for the meeting 
to disperse. Mr. O'Connor promptly assured the officer 
that the order would be obeyed. There was a good deal of 
passionate oratory indulged in by some of the others in the 
shape of protest against the " arbitrary" order of the gov- 
ernment, and Ernest Jones, the most chivalrous of the 
Chartist leaders, seeing the strategical blunder, exclaimed 
with bitterness and vexation : " We are on the wrong side 
of the river; we can do nothing." There were not more 
than twenty-five thousand men there altogether, and they 
sullenly melted away. Chartism as a physical force was at 
an end in England. That evening the monster petition was 
carted over to the House of Commons like ignominious 
freight, and Mr. O'Connor presented it amid a tumult of 
laughter and jeers from every part of the House. It is in- 
teresting to note in this connection that many remarkable 
men were sworn in as special constables, to keep the peace 



138 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

on this memorable occasion, among whom were Prince Louis 
Napoleon, who was then residing in London, the Duke of 
Norfolk, Edward Stanley, Earl of Derby, and William 
Ewart Gladstone. 

Although nobody was killed or wounded at the battle of 
Kennington, the victory obtained by the Duke of Welling- 
ton, on the 10th of April, was as decisive in its way as the 
victory at Waterloo. It put an end to that peculiar social 
war which for ten years the Chartists had waged in En- 
gland. As the victory at Waterloo had eliminated Bona- 
partism as a physical power from the politics of Europe, so 
the battle of Kennington eliminated Chartism as a physical 
force from the politics of England. There was plenty of 
sarcasm thrown at the Duke of Wellington, for the tre- 
mendous preparations he had made against twenty-five 
thousand unarmed working men holding an amiable pic-nic 
at Kennington Common; but he answered that he had made 
his dispositions to meet what the Chartists intended to do, 
not what they actually did. They had proclaimed a revo- 
lutionary purpose and he had complimented them by be- 
lieving what they said. 

Many of the social problems now exciting the American 
people were first propounded by the Chartists. Even the 
61 single-tax" and land-confiscation theory, revived by 
Mr. Henry George, is of Chartist origin. Indeed, the 
ideas, arguments, and some of the phraseology of ' 'Progress 
and Poverty" bewilder us in the state papers of the Chart- 
ists. A Chartist petition drawn up by Lovett, and pre- 
sented to Parliament in 1838, calls for such legislation as will 
compel the owners of land ' 'to defray all the expenses of the 
state, and Parliament is informed that ' c land teas bestowed by 
the bountiful Creator upon all his children." The petition 
denied the right of private ownership of land, and repu- 
diated the title of landowners to "ichat they mil their 
property." Forty years later, Mr. George reproduces the 



MEMBER FOR OXFORD. 139 

argument and doctrine of that petition, and speaks con- 
temptuously of the title of landowners in America to 
"what they are pleased to call their land," William Lovett 
appears to have had a patent on the " single-tax" contriv- 
ance nearly fifty years ahead of Mr. Henry George. 

As a matter of fact the best features of the Charter have 
become part of the law of England, brought about, 
albeit, by men and methods little dreamed of by the early 
Chartists. 

The condition- of affairs excited the sarcasm of Mr. 
Disraeli, who jeered at the government, which he described 
as "a man smoking a cigar on a barrel of gunpowder." 
Ever loyal to his chief, Mr. Gladstone, by a series of incon- 
trovertible statistics, demonstrated the complete success of 
Sir Robert Peel's policy, and pleaded for the confidence of 
the country. 

"I am sure," said Mr. Gladstone, "that this House of 
Commons will prove itself to be worthy of the Parliaments 
which preceded it, worthy of the Sovereign which it has 
been called to advise, and worthy' of the people which it 
has been chosen to represent, by sustaining this nation, and 
enabling it to stand firm in the midst of the convulsions 
that shake European society, by doing all that pertains to 
us for the purpose of maintaining social order, the stability 
of trade, and the means of public employment; and by dis- 
charging our consciences, on our own part, under the 
difficult circumstances of the crisis, in the perfect trust that 
if we set a good example to the nation, for whose interests 
we are appointed to consult, they too, will stand firm as 
they have done in other times of almost desperate emer- 
gency; and that through their good sense, their moderation, 
and their attachment to the institutions of the country, we 
shall see these institutions still exist, a blessing and a benefit 
to posterity, whatever alarms and whatever misfortunes 
may unfortunately befall other portions of civilized Europe." 



140 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

Later on in this session Lord John Russell having 
moved that the House of Commons resolve itself into a com- 
mittee on the oaths to be taken by members of the two 
Houses of Parliament, with a view to further relief upon this 
subject, Mr. Gladstone rose and said that he should not 
shrink from stating his opinion thereon. He was deliber- 
ately convinced that the civil and political claims of the Jew 
to the discharge of civil and political duties, ought not, in 
justice, to be barred, and could not beneficially be barred 
because of a difference in religion. But there were sufficient 
grounds for going into committee independent of this main 
purpose. Oaths, when taken by large masses of men, and 
under associations not very favorable to solemn religious 
feelings, had a tendency to degenerate into formalism. Nor 
could he say that the present oaths had no words in them 
which could not with advantage be omitted. At the same 
time he was glad that the noble lord had retained the words 
"on the true faith of a Christian" in respect to all Christian 
members of that House. The measure now brought forward 
should have his support at every stage. 

Later on in this session he made important speeches on 
the navigation laws, and subsequently on a motion for going 
into committee of supply, introduced the Canadian diffi- 
culties by calling attention to certain points of the In- 
demnity Bill. This address created very considerable in- 
fluence on the minds of Canadians. 

The sky of 1850 w r as darkened with sorrow that entered 
into Mr Gladstone's very soul. Early in the year he lost a 
little daughter. She had lived long enough to become ex- 
ceedingly precious, and when her young spirit passed away 
it left a void that was very hard to fill. Mr. Gladstone was 
a man of ardent affections and impassioned friendships. 
Those who were bound to him by ties of earthly kindredship 
were very dear, and hardly less dear were those he called 
by the endearing name of friend. 



MEMBER FOR OXFORD. 141 

In this same year, he lost in another, and to him more 
poignant sense, two of the most valued friends of his early 
life. Mr. J. R. Hope-Scott and Archdeacon Henry Man- 
ning, afterwards Cardinal, who joined the Church of Rome. 
They were the godfathers of his eldest son, and in those 
days a man was in the habit of selecting his dearest and 
most cherished friends to discharge the functions of this 
sacred office. The secession of these honored friends from 
the church of England to the church of Rome left their 
mutual esteem unimpaired, still it opened an awful gulf be 
tween them. They could never be the same to each other 
again. Mr. Gladstone wrote a letter to Mr. Hope-Scott, a 
perusal of which will serve to show the intensely sensitive 
spiritual character of the writer, and the depth and sincerity 
of his regrets. The realm of Mr. Gladstone's esteem was 
very near to the kingdom of love. He writes thus: 

"Separated we are, but I hope and think not yet estranged. 
Were I more estranged I should bear the separation better. 
If estrangement is to come I know not, but it will only be 
I think, from causes the operation of which is still in its 
infancy — causes not affecting me. Why should I be 
estranged from you? I honor you even in what I think 
you err; why, then, should my feelings to you alter in any- 
thing else? It seems to me as though in these fearful times, 
events were more and more growing too large for our puny 
grasp, and that we should the more look for and trust the 
divine purpose in them, when we find they have wholly passed 
beyond the reach and measure of our own. 'The Lord is in 
His holy temple; let all the earth keep silence before Him.' 
The very afflictions of the present are a sign of joy to fol- 
low. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done, is still our 
prayer in common — the same prayer in the same sense, and 
a prayer which absorbs every other. That is for the future. 
For the present we have to endure, trust, and to pray that 



142 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

each day may bring its strength with its burden, and its 
lamp for its gloom." 

How matured that affection was as the swift-rolling years 
went on we may judge from a single paragraph written 
long years afterward. In the year 1873, Mrs. Maxwell 
Scott of Abbotsford asked Mr. Gladstone if he would send 
her some recollections of her father. He responded in the 
most generous manner, and closed his account of his friend 
in these beautiful and impressive words : 

" If I have traversed some of the ground in sadness, 1 
now turn to the present thought of his light and peace and 
progress, and may they be his more and more abundantly, 
in that w r orld w T here the shadows that our sins and follies 
cast, no longer darken the aspect and glory of the truth; and 
may God ever bless you, the daughter of my friend. " 

On the 19th of February, 1850, Mr. Disraeli moved for 
a committee of the whole House to consider such a revision 
of the Poor Law T s of the United Kingdom, as might mitigate 
the distress of the agricultural classes. Sir James Graham 
strongly opposed the motion, but Mr. Gladstone heartily 
supported it. He said that the condition of the farming 
class and of the agriculturial laborers in a large portion of 
England, to say nothing of Ireland, was such as to demand 
the careful attention and consideration of the House. 

Twice during this session Mr. Gladstone addressed the 
House on questions connected with slavery. But the most 
important debate of the session arose out of the affairs of 
Greece. Mr. G. Barnett Smith says: 

"The Greek government having refused to afford compen- 
sation in response to certain demands w r hich the English 
government had made on account of the claims of specified 
British subjects, Admiral Sir William Parker w r as directed 
to proceed to Athens for the purpose of obtaining satisfac- 
tion. Failing in this the Admiral blockaded the Piraeus. 
The news of this somewhat high-handed proceeding produced 



MEMBER FOR OXFORD. 148 

dissatisfaction in certain quarters in England, the policy 
being condemned as unworthy of the dignity and discredit- 
able to the reputation of a power like Great Britain. The 
debates in both Houses initiated upon this Greek question 
took a wider scope than the facts just enumerated, and 
eventually included our relations with France. The sta- 
bility of the Whig administration depended upon the result 
of the discussions. Lord Palmerston, whose policy as For- 
eign Minister was thus assailed, before the great debate in 
the House of Commons came on, tendered an explanation of 
the circumstances attending the withdrawal of the French 
minister from London, and related the proceedings which 
had taken place on the part of the representatives of both 
governments, alleging also his strong desire to conciliate the 
French government and to restore an amicable understand- 
ing between the two countries. In the House of Lords, 
upon a resolution moved by Lord Stanley, the government 
found themselves in a minority of thirty-seven. This gave 
the impending debate in the Commons additional importance, 
the fall of the ministry following as a natural consequence, 
unless the lower house should reverse the condemnation pro- 
nounced by the upper. Mr. Roebuck — much to the sur- 
prise of many — came to the defense of the government, by 
proposing the following motion : 'That the principles 
which have hitherto regulated the foreign policy of Her 
Majesty's government are such as are required to preserve 
untarnished the honor and dignity of this country, and in 
times of unexampled difficulty, the best calculated to 
maintain peace between England and the various nations of 
the world.' The debate commenced on the 24th of June 
and extended over four nights. It was marked on both 
sides of the House by speeches of unusual oratorical excel- 
lence and brilliancy. Sir Robert Peel delivered a powerful 
speech against the ministers, and one memorable not 
only for its eloquence but also from the melancholy fact 



14-4 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

that it was the last speech he was fated to deliver before 
that assembly, in whose midst he had so long been a con- 
spicuous figure. Lord Palmerston energetically defended 
his policy in a speech of nearly five hours' duration. At its 
close he challenged the verdict of the House whether the 
foreign policy of her Majesty's ministers had been proper 
and fitting, and whethex', as a subject of ancient Rome could 
hold himself free from indignity by saying Clvis JRomanus 
sum, a British subject in a foreign country should not be 
protected by the vigilant eye and strong arm of the govern- 
ment against injustice and wrong. 

Mr. Gladstone's speech on the occasion was one of those 
fine efforts that will never be forgotten by those who heard 
it. We quote that memorable passage in which the rising 
statesman entranced his hearers by his reply to Lord 
Palmerston's allusion to the Roman citizen : 

'Sir, great as is the influence and power of Britain, she cannot 
afford to follow, for any length of time, a self-isolating policy. It 
would be a contravention of the law of nature and of God, if it were 
possible for any single nation of Christendom to emancipate itself 
from the obligations which bind all other nations, and to arrogate, in 
the face of mankind, a position of peculiar privilege. And now I will 
grapple with the noble lord on the ground which he selected for him- 
self, in the most tri mphant portion of his speech, by his reference to 
those emphatic words, Civis Romanus sum. He vaunted, amidst the 
cheers of his supporters, that under his administration an English- 
man should be, throughout the world, what the citizen of Rome had 
been. What then, sir, was a Roman citizen ? He was the member of 
a privileged caste ; he belonged to a conquering race, to a nation that 
held all others bound down by a strong arm of power. For him there 
was to be an exceptional system of lav/ ; for him principles were to 
be asserted, and by him rights were to be enjoyed, that were denied 
to the rest of the world. Is such, then the view of the noble lord as 
to the relation which is to subsist between England and other coun- 
tries ? Does he make the claim for us that we are to be uplifted upon 
a platform high above the standing-ground of all other nations ? It 
is, indeed, too clear, not only from the expressions but from the whole 
tone of the speech of the noble viscount, that too much of this notion 
is lurking in his mind ; that he adopts, in part, that vain conception 
that we, forsooth, have a mission to be the censors of vice and folly, 
of abuse and imperfection, among the other countries of the world ; 



MEMBER FOR OXFORD. 145 

that we are to be the universal schoolmasters , and that ali those who 
hesitate to recognize our office, can be governed only by prejudice or 
personal animosity, and should have the blind war of diplomacy 
forthwith declared against them. And certainly, if the business of a 
Foreign Secretary were to carry on diplomatic wars, all must admit 
that the noble lord is a master in the discharge of his functions. 
What, sir, ought a Foreign Secretary to be ? Is he to be like some 
gallant knight at a tournament of old, pricking forth into the lists, 
armed at all points, confiding in his sinews and his skill, challenging 
all comers for the sake of honor, and having no other duty than to 
lay as many as possible of his adversaries sprawling in the dust ? If 
such is the idea of a good Foreign Secretary, I, for one, would vote to 
the noble lord his present appointment for his life. But, sir, I do not 
understand the duty of a Secretary for Foreign Affairs to be of such 
a character. I understand it to be his duty to conciliate peace with 
dignity. I think it to be the very first of all his duties studiously to 
observe, and to exalt in honor among mankind, that great code of 
principles which is termed the law of nations, which the honorable 
and learned member for Sheffield has found, indeed, to be very vague 
in its nature, and greatly dependent on the discretion of each par- 
ticular country, but in which I find, on the contrary, a great and 
noble monument of human wisdom, founded on the combined dictates 
of reason and experience — a precious inheritance bequeathed to us by 
the generations that have gone before us, and a firm foundation on 
which we must take care to build whatever it may be our part to add 
to their acquisitions, if, indeed, we wish to maintain and to consolidate 
the brotherhood of nations, and to promote the peace and welfare of 
the world. 

1 Sir, I say the policy of the noble lord tends to encourage and 
confirm in us that which is our besetting fault and weakness, both as 
a nation and as individuals. Let an Englishman travel where he 
will as a private person, he is found in general to be upright, high- 
minded, brave, liberal, and true; but with all this, foreigners are too 
often sensible of something that galls them in his presence, and I 
apprehend it is because he has too great a tendency to self-esteem — 
too little disposition to regard the feelings, the habits, and the ideas 
of others. Sir, I find this characteristic too plainly legible in the 
policy of the noble lord. I doubt not that use will be made of our 
present debate to work upon this peculiar weakness of the English 
mind. The people will be told that those who oppose the motion a e 
governed by personal motives, have no regard for public principles, 
and no enlarged ideas of national policy. You will take your case before 
a favorable jury, and you think to gain your verdict; but, sir, let the 
House of Commons be warned — let it warn itself— against all illu- 
sions. There is in this case also a course of appeal. There is an 
appeal, such as the honorable and learned member for Sheffield has 



146 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

made, from the one House of Parliament to the other. There is a 
further appeal from this House of Parliament to the peop e of Eng- 
land ; but, lastly, there is also an appeal from the people of England 
to the general sentiment of the civilized world ; and I, for my part, 
am of opinion that England will stand shorn of a chief part of her 
glory and pride if she shall be found to have separated herself, 
through the policy she pursues abroad, from the moral support 
which the general and fixed convictions of mankind afford, if the day 
shall come when she may continue to excite the wonder and the fear 
of other nations, but in which she shall have no part in their affec- 
tion and regard. 

' No, sir, let it not be so ; let us recognize, and recognize with 
frankness, the equality of the weak with the strong ; the principles 
of brotherhood among nations, and of their sacred independence. 
When we are asking for the maintenance of the rights which belong 
to our fellow-subjects resident in Greece, let us do as we would be 
done by, and let us pay all the respect to a feeble State, and to the 
infancy of free institutions, which we should desire and should exact 
from others, towards their maturity and their strength. Let us refrain 
from all gratuitous and arbitrary meddling in the internal concerns 
of other States, even as we should resent the same interference if it 
were attempted to be practiced towards ourselves. If the noble lord 
has indeed acted on these principles, let the Government to which he 
belongs have your verdict in its favor ; but if he has departed from 
them, as I contend, and as I humbly think and urge upon you that it 
has been too amply proved, then the House of Commons must not 
shrink from the performance of its duty, under whatever expectations 
of momentary obloquy or reproach, because we shall have done what 
is right ; we shall enjoy the peace of our own consciences, and 
receive, whether a little sooner or a little later, the approval of the 
public voice for having entered our solemn protest against a system 
of policy which we believe, nay, which we know, whatever may be 
its first aspect, must, of necessity, in its final results be unfavorable 
even to the security of British subjects resident abroad, which it pro- 
fesses so much to study — unfavorable to the dignity of the country, 
which the motion of the honorable and learned member asserts it 
preserves — and equally unfavorable to that other great and sacred 
object, which also it suggests to our recollections, the maintainance 
of peace with the nations of the world.' 

This speech is regarded by many as one of Mr. Glad- 
stone's finest efforts. On a division upon Mr. Koebuck's 
motion the government succeeded in obtaining a majority of 
46. Ayes, 310; Noes, 264." 



MEMBER FOR OXFORD. 147 

The day after the famous Don Pacifico debate, June 28, 
1850, Sir Robert Peel had left a card at Buckingham Palace, 
and proceeded thence to enjoy a ride up Constitution. Hill, 
when he was thrown from his horse, and was so severly in- 
jured that he died four days later. The tidings of his sad 
and sudden departure from the ways of men awoke univer- 
sal regret. On the 3rd of July Mr. Hume alluded to the 
great loss the nation had sustained, and moved that the 
House of Commons at once adjourn. In the House of 
Lords, the Duke of Wellington and Lord Brougham 
referred in the most impressive terms of respect to the 
departed statesman. 

Lord Brougham, who had frequently been in strong 
antagonism with Sir Robert Peel, paid this high tribute to 
his character and worth: 

i ' At the last stage of his public career, chequered as it 
was — and I told him in private that chequered it would 
be — when he was differing from those with whom he had 
been so long connected, and from purely public-spirited 
feelings was adopting a course which was so galling and un- 
pleasing to them — I told him, I say, that he must turn from 
the storm without to the sunshine of an approving conscience 
within. Differing as we may differ on the point whether 
he was right or wrong, disputing as we may dispute on the 
results of his policy, we must all agree that to the course 
which he believed to be advantageous to his country he firmly 
adhered, and that in pursuing it he made sacrifices com- 
pared with which all the sacrifices exacted from public men 
by a sense of public duty, which I have ever known or read 
of, sink into nothing." 

If Mr Gladstone's tribute to his great chief was brief, it 
was full of intense feeling. Supporting Mr. Hume's 
motion, he said: 

i 'I am quite sure that every heart is much too full to 
allow us, at a period so early, to enter upon a consideration 



148 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

of the amount of that calamity with which the country has 
been visited in his, I must even now say, premature death; 
for though he has died full of years and full of honors, yet 
it is a death which our human eyes will regard as premature, 
because we had fondly hoped that, in whatever position he 
was placed, by the w r eight of his character, by the splendor 
of his talents, by the purity of his virtues, he would still 
have been spared to render to his country the most essential 
services. I will only, sir, quote those most touching and 
feeling lines which w r ere applied by one of the greatest poets 
of this country to the memory of a man great indeed, but 
yet not greater than Sir Robert Peel: 

' Now is the stately column broke, 
The beacon light is quecched in smoke; 
The trumpets silver voice is still, 
The warder silent on the hill.' 

"Sir, I will add no more. In saying this I have perhaps, 
said too much. It might have been better had I simply 
confined myself to seconding the motion. I am sure the 
tribute of respect which we now offer will be all the more 
valuable from the silence with which the motion is received, 
and which I well know r has not arisen from the want, but 
from the excess, of feeling on the part of members of this 
House. " 

No tributes to the dead statesman were more impressive 
and pathetic than those of the poor and needy, who regarded 
Sir Robert Peel as their savior from poverty and starvation. 
In the museum of the old town of Leicester there stands a 
bust purchased by the working people of Leicester in con- 
tributions of a penny — two cents each. As they spoke of 
him they said, with deep and sincere gratitude, "He gave 
us untaxed bread." 

A brief reference w r ill not be out of place here to the first 
of those great exhibitions of the products and industries of 
nations which seemed to reach their grand culmination in 
the marvelous World's Fair of Chicago, in the year 1893. 



MEMBER FOR OXFORD. 149 

These exhibitions were healthful signs of the times. The 
purpose of these gatherings was to bring about a more 
fraternal feeling between the neighboring nations ; to inspire 
them with zeal for the more perfect development of the 
resources of their respective countries; and to aid the 
coming of the good time that alas! seems far distant. 
Yet when the poet's dream should be realized: 

When the war-drum throbs no longer, 
And the battle-flags are furled; 
In the Parliament of men, 
The Federation of the World. 

The first idea of the Exhibition was conceived by Prince 
Albert; and it was his energy and influence which succeeded 
in carrying the idea into practical execution. Probably no 
influence less great than that which his station gave to the 
Prince would have prevailed to carry to success so difficult 
an enterprise. There had been industrial exhibitions before 
on a small scale and of local limit; but if the idea of an ex- 
hibition in which all the nations of the world were to com- 
pete had occurred to other minds before, as it may well 
have done, it was merely as a vague thought, a day-dream, 
without any claim to a practical realization. Prince Albert 
was President of the Society of Arts, and this position se- 
cured him a platform for the effective promulgation of his 
ideas. On June 30, 1849, he called a meeting of the Royal 
Society at Buckingham Palace. He proposed that the So- 
ciety should undertake the initiative in the promotion of an 
exhibition of the works of all nations. The main idea of 
Prince Albert was that the exhibition should be divided 
into four great sections — the first to contain raw materials 
and products; the second machinery for ordinary industrial 
and productive purposes and mechanical inventions of the 
more ingenious kind; the third, manufactured articles; and 
the fourth, sculpture, models, and the illustration of the 
plastic arts generally. The idea was at once taken up by 



150 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

the Society of Arts, and by their agency spread abroad. 
On October 17th in the same year a meeting of merchants 
and bankers was held in London to promote the success of 
the undertaking. In the first few days of 1850 a formal 
commission was appointed < ' for the promotion of the Ex- 
hibition of the Works of All Nations, to be holden in the 
year 1851." Prince Albert was appointed President of the 
Commission. 

The question of the construction of a building for all the 
world to meet in, at least by representation, presented a 
great difficulty. Happily, a sudden inspiration struck Mr. 
Joseph Paxton, who was then in charge of the Duke of 
Devonshire's superb grounds at Chatsworth. Why not try 
glass and iron ? he asked himself. Why not build a palace 
of glass and iron large enough to cover all the intended con- 
tents of the Exhibition, and which should be at once light, 
beautiful and cheap ? Mr. Paxton sketched out his plan 
hastily, and the idea was eagerly accepted by the Royal 
Commissioners. He made many improvements afterwards 
in his design ; but the palace of glass and iron arose within 
the specified time on the green turf of Hyde Park. The 
idea so happily hit upon was serviceable in more ways than 
one to the success of the exhibition. It made the building 
itself as much an object of curiosity and wonder as the col- 
lections under its crystal roof. Of the hundreds of thou- 
sands who came to the Exhibition, a good proportion was 
drawn to Hyde Park rather by a wish to see Paxton' s pal- 
ace of glass than all the wonders of industrial and plastic 
art that it enclosed Lord Palmerston said : * ' The build- 
ing itself is far more worth seeing than anything in it, 
though many of its contents are worthy of admiration. ,? 

The Queen herself has written a very interesting account 
of the success of the opening day. Her description is inter- 
esting as an expression of the feelings of the writer, the 
sense of profound relief and rapture, as well as for the sake 



MEMBER FOR OXFORD. 151 

of the picture it gives of the ceremonial itself. The en- 
thusiasm of the wife over the complete success of the pro- 
ject on which her husband had set his heart and staked his 
name is simple and touching. If the importance of the 
undertaking, and the amount of fame it was to bring to its 
author may seem a little overdone, not many readers will 
complain of the womanly and wifely feeling which could 
not be denied such fervent expression. 

"The great event," wrote the Queen, "has taken place 
— a complete and beautiful triumph — a glorious and touch- 
ing sight, one which I shall ever be proud of for my beloved 
Albert and my country. . . . The Park presented a 
wonderful spectacle — crowds streaming through it, car- 
riages and troops passing, quite like the Coronation day, 
and for me the same anxiety — no, much greater anxiety, 
on account of my beloved Albert. The day was bright, and 
all bustle and excitement. . . . The Green Park and 
Hyde Park were one densely crowded mass of human beings 
in the highest good humor and most enthusiastic. I never 
saw Hyde Park look as it did — as far as the eye could reach. 
A little rain fell just as we started, but before we came near 
the Crystal Palace the sun shone and gleamed upon the 
gigantic edifice, upon which the Hags of all nations were 
floating. . . . The glimpse of the transcept through 
the iron gates, the waving palms, flowers, statues, myriads 
of people filling the galleries and seats around, with the 
flourish of trumpets as we entered, gave us a sensation 
which I can never forget, and I felt much moved. 

The sight as we came to the middle was magical — so vast, 
so glorious, so touching — one felt, as so many did whom I 
have since spoken to, filled with devotion — more so than by 
any service I have ever heard. The tremendous cheers, the 
joy expressed in every face, the immensity of the building, 
the mixture of palms, flowers, trees, statues, fountains ; the 
organ (with two hundred instruments and six hundred voices, 



lo2 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

which sounded like nothing), and my beloved husband the 
author of this peace festival, which united the industry of 
all nations of the earth. All this was moving indeed, and it 
was and is a day to live forever ! God bless my dearest 
Albert ! God bless my dearest country, which has shown 
itself so great to-day ! One felt so grateful to the great 
God who seemed to pervade all, and to bless all !" 

It is needless to say that in this great movement, Mr. 
Gladstone took pleasant and helpful interest. Horace 
Greeley was one of the American Commissioners, and 
unused though he was to burn incense at any shrine, he 
was carried away by the grandeur of the scene, and as he 
stood in this palace of crystal beauty and thought of what 
it stood for, he confessed that the poet's dream of a golden 
age might come true after all! 

After the exhibition was closed, the main portion of the 
building was transferred to Sydenham a few miles south of 
London, w T here it has been for nearly half a century, and 
still is, the grandest and most complete place of recreation 
and entertainment in the world. 

Towards the close of this year, 1851, owing to the illness of 
one of his children, it became necessary for Mr. Gladstone 
to journey southward. He went to Naples, and while there 
made such discoveries with regard to the hideous inhumanity 
which prevailed in high quarters, that very shortly all Eu- 
rope rang with the voice of his righteous indignation. 

Mr. Gladstone remained in Naples for about four months. 
He had been there but a very short time, when he heard 
such fearful accounts of thousands of people w T howere flung 
into prison, suffering every conceivable indignity for pure- 
ly imaginary offenses, that he determined upon visiting 
such of the prisoners as he could, to ascertain for himself 
what truth there was in the reports he had heard. He found 
things worse than they had been described to him. Men of 
fUl classes were arrested on suspicion, or even without sus- 



MEMBER FOR OXFORD. 153 

picion, and thrown with the ordinary criminals; and 
many of them loaded with chains, were left there for 
months, sometimes as long as a couple of years, before they 
were even put upon their trial, often because it was not 
possible to work up a case against them. The prisons were 
terribly overcrowded, dirty and unhealthy — so unhealthy 
indeed, were many of these dungeons in which the prisoners 
were herded together, that even the doctors dared not visit 
them! 

On his return to England, Mr. Gladstone embodied the 
result of his investigations in two letters to the Earl of 
Aberdeen. The letters describe a condition of things that 
was % <an outrage upon religion, upon civilization, upon 
humanity and upon decency." 

" These pages have been written in the hope that 
Dy thus making through the press, rather than in another 
mode, the rejoinder to the Neapolitan reply which was 
doubtless due from me, I might still, as far as depended on 
me, keep the question on its true ground, and not of Eng. 
land but of Christendom and of mankind. Again I express 
that this may be my closing word. I express the hope that 
it may not become a hard necessity -to keep this controversy 
alive, until it reaches its one only possible issue, which no 
power of man can possibly intercept. I express the hope 
that while there is time, while there is quiet, while dignity 
may yet be saved in showing mercy, and in the blessed work 
of restoring Justice to her seat, the Government of Naples 
may set its hand in earnest to the work of real and searching, 
however quiet, reform; that it may not become unavoidable 
to reiterate these appeals from the hand of power to the one 
common heart of mankind; to produce those painful docu- 
ments, those harrowing descriptions, which might be sup- 
plied in rank abundance, of which I have scarcely given the 
faintest idea or sketch, and which, if they were laid from 
time to time before the world, would, bear down like a de- 



154 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

luge every effort at apology or palliation, and would caus* 
all that has recently been made known to be forgotten and 
eclipsed in deeper horrors yet; lest the strength of offended 
and indignant humanity should rise up as a giant refreshed 
with wine, and while sweeping away these abominations 
from the eye of Heaven, should sweep away along with 
them things pure and honest, ancient, venerable, salutary 
to mankind, crowned with the glories of the past, and still 
capable of bearing future fruit." 

But the following m xy be regarded as the most impressive 
passage of his terrible indictment: 

" It is such violation of human and written law as this, 
carried on for the purpose of violating every other law, un- 
written and eternal, human and divine; it is the wholesale 
persecution of virtue, when united with intelligence, operat- 
ing upon such a scale that entire classes may with truth be 
said to be its object, so that the government is in bitter and 
cruel, as well as utterly illegal, hostility to whatever in the 
nation really lives and moves, and forms the mainspring of 
practical progress and improvement. It is the awful pro- 
fanation of public religion, by its notorious alliance in the 
governing powers, with the violation of every moral rule 
under the stimulants of fear and vengeance. It is the perfect 
prostitution of the judicial office which has made it, under 
veils only too threadbare and transparent, the degraded re- 
cipient of the vilest and clumsiest forgeries, got up wilfully 
and deliberately by the immediate advisers of the crown for 
the purpose of destroying the peace, the freedom, aye, and 
even if not by capital sentences, the life of men amongst 
the most virtuous, upright, intelligent, distinguished and 
refined of the whole community. 

The effect of all this is a total inversion of all the moral 
and social ideas. Law, instead of being respected, is 
odious. Force, and not affection, is the foundation of 
£^vernment. There is no association, but a violent an- 
tagonism, between the idea of freedom and that of order. 



MEMBER FOR OXFORD. 155 

The governing power, which teaches of itself that it is the 
image of God upon earth, is clothed in the view of the over- 
whelming majority of the thinking public with all the vices 
for its attributes. I have seen and heard the strong and 
too true expression used, "This is the negation of God 
erected into a system of Government. " 

These letters created the most intense indignation. But 
was there no issue to be taken ? Was there no moral right 
to interfere ? The case had some points that compare with 
our right to declare war with Spain. 

Before the House of Commons was prorogued, attention 
was drawn to Mr. Gladstone's statements. Sir De Lacy 
Evans put the following question to the Foreign Secretary: 

"From a publication entitled to the highest consideration, 
it appears that there are at present above 20,000 persons 
confined in the prisons of Naples for alleged political offenses; 
that these prisoners have, with extremely few exceptions, 
been thus immured in violation of the existing laws of the 
country, and without the slightest legal trial or public in- 
quiry into their respective cases; that they include a late 
Prime Minister and a majority of the late Neapolitan Par- 
liament, as well as a large proportion of the most respectable 
and intelligent classes of society; that these prisoners are 
chained two and two together; that these chains are never 
undone, day or night, for any purpose whatever, and that 
they are suffering refinements of cruelty and barbarity, un- 
known in any other civilized country. It is consequently, 
asked if the British Minister at the Court of Naples has been 
instructed to employ his good offices in the cause of human- 
ity, for the diminution of these lamentable severities, and 
with what result ? " 

Lord Palmerston replied that her Majesty's Government 
had received with pain a confirmation of the impressions 
wnich had been created by various accounts they had received 
from other quarters, of the very unfortunate and calamitous 



156 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

condition of the kingdom of Naples. The British Govern- 
ment, however, had not deemed it a part of their duty to 
make any formal representations to the Government of 
Naples on a matter that related entirely to the internal 
affairs of that country. 

" At the same time, " his lordship continued, "Mr. Glad- 
stone, whom I may freely name, though not in his capacity 
of a member of Parliament, has done himself, I think, very 
great honor by the course he pursued at Naples, and by 
the course he has followed since; for I think that when you 
see an English gentleman, who goes to pass a winter at 
Naples, instead of confining himself to those amusements 
that abound in that city, instead of diving into volcanoes 
and exploring excavated cities, when Ave see him going to 
the courts of justice, visiting prisons, descending into dun- 
geons, and examining great numbers of the cases of unfor- 
tunate victims of illegality and injustice, with a view after- 
wards to enlist public opinion in the endeavor to remedy 
those abuses, I think that is a course that does honor to 
the person who pursues it. And concurring in feeling with 
him that the influence of public opinion in Europe might 
have some useful effect in setting such matters right, I 
thought it my duty to send copies of his pamphlet to our 
Ministers at the various Courts of Europe, directing them 
to give to each Government copies of the pamphlet, in 
the hope that by affording them an opportunity of read- 
ing it, they might be led to use their influence in promoting 
what is the object of my honorable and gallant friend — 
a remedy for the evils to which he has referred. ' This 
announcement by the Foreign Secretary was warmly 
cheered by the House. A few days afterward Lord Pal- 
merston was requested by Prince Castelcicala to forward the 
reply of the Neapolitan Government to the different Euro- 
pean Courts to which Mr. Gladstone's pamphlet had been 
sent. His lordship, witn his wonted courage and independent 



MEMBER FOR OXFORD. 157 

spirit, replied that be " must decline being accessory to the 
circulation of a pamphlet which, in my opinion, does no 
credit to its writer, or the Government which he defends, or 
to the political party of which he professes to be the cham- 
pion. r He also informed the Prince "that information re- 
ceived from other sources led him to the conclusion that 
Mr. Gladstone had by no means overstated the various evils 
which he had described; and he, Lord Palmerston, regretted 
that the Neapolitan Government had not set to work ear- 
nestly and effectually to correct the manifold and grave 
abuses which clearly existed. 7 ' 

Lord Palmerston, indeed, reflected the national sentiment 
of England when he declared from his place in the House of 
Commons, that i ' Mr. Gladstone had done himself honor by 
the course he had thus pursued in relation to the Neapolitan 
prisons. He had lifted his voice with energy and effect on 
behalf of oppressed humanity, and in condemnation of one 
of the worst and most despotic Governments that have ever 
afflicted mankind. This episode remains, and ever will re- 
main, in the estimation both of his fellow-countrymen and 
the friends of justice and freedom throughout the world, 
one of the brightest in his career." 

The immediate result of this chivalrous advocacy was 
perhaps not commensurate with the storm of indignation it 
aroused. But it bore good fruit at last when the heroic 
Garibaldi and a free people marched into Naples, and King 
Bomba and his vicious court fled. 

On the 14th of September, 1852, the duke of Welling- 
ton, who had been for long years the pride and glory of 
his country, passed into the silent land. One of the grand- 
est public funerals England had ever seen was awarded the 
hero of Waterloo. On the assembly of Parliament many 
eloquent tributes were paid to the memory of the man of 
iron nerve and deathless purpose. The following is part of 
Mr. Gladstone's eloquence: 



158 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

"While many of the actions of his life, while many of 
the qualities he possessed, are unattainable by others, there 
are lessons which we may all derive from the life and ac- 
tions of that illustrious man. It may never be given to 
another subject of the British Crown to perform services 
so brilliant as he performed; it may never be given to 
another man to hold the sword which was to gain the inde- 
pendence of Europe, to rally the nations around it, and 
while England saved herself by her constancy, to save 
Europe by her example; it may never be given to another 
man, after having attained such eminence, after such an 
unexampled series of victories, to show equal moderation in 
peace as he has shown greatness in war, and to devote the 
remainder of his life to the cause of internal and external 
peace for that country which he has so served; it may 
never be given to another man to have equal authority both 
with the Sovereign he served, and with the Senate of which 
he was to the end a venerated member; it may never be 
given to another man after such a career to preserve even 
to the last, the full possession of those great faculties with 
which he was endowed, and to carry on the services of one 
of the most important departments of the State with unex- 
ampled regularity and success, even to the latest day of his 
life. These are circumstances, these are qualities, which 
may never occur again in the history of this country. But 
there are qualities which the Duke of Wellington displayed, 
of which we may all act in humble, imitation — that sincere 
and unceasing devotion to our country; that honest and 
upright determination to act for the benefit of the country 
on every occasion; that devoted loyalty, which, while it 
made him ever anxious to serve the Crown, never induced 
him to conceal from the Sovereign that which he believed 
to be the truth; that devotedness in the constant perform- 
ance of duty; that temperance of his life, which enabled 
him at all times to give his mind and his faculties to the 



MEMBER FOR OXFORD. 159 

services which he was called on to perform; that regular, 
consistent, and unceasing piety by which he was disting- 
uished at all times in his life. These are qualities that are 
attainable by others, and these are qualities which should 
not be lost as an example." 

Mr. Gladstone himself declared that so late as 1851 he 
had not left the Tory party. Still, it was as clear as the 
day that he was marching steadily toward Liberalism. His 
great and trusted leader was dead. New questions were 
arising that demanded the most careful consideration. Old 
questions were assuming still graver importance. The 
world was marching on. In 1852 the first Derby-Disraeli 
administration was formed. Mr. Disraeli became Chancel- 
lor of the Exchequer, and Lord Derby being in the House 
of Lords, Mr. Disraeli became also leader in the House of 
Commons. Mr. Gladstone, being a pronounced Peelite, did 
not retain office under this administration. 

In December of 1852 Mr. Disraeli introduced his budget 
which provoked a good deal of severe criticism, to which he 
replied with scoffs and gibes and sarcasms, Sir James 
Graham being made the special subject of attack. As Mr. 
Disraeli sat down Mr. Gladstone sprang to his feet, and the 
battle that was waged so many years between these two 
great political gladiators began. In a few minutes the 
House was wildly cheering the intrepid member for Oxford. 
Mr. Gladstone began by telling the right honorable gentle- 
man that " he was not entitled to charge with insolence men 
of as high position and of as high character in the House as 
himself." Having been prevented by the cheers of the 
House from completing this sentence, Mr. Gladstone thus 
concluded : 

"I must tell the right honorable gentleman that he is not 
entitled to say to my right honorable friend, the member 
for Carlisle, that he regards but does not respect him. And 
I must tell him that whatever else he has learned, and he 



160 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

has learned much — he has not learned to keep within those 
limits of discretion, of moderation and of forbearance, that 
ought to restrain the conduct and language of every mem- 
ber in this House, the disregard of which, while it is an 
offense in the meanest among us, is an offense of tenfold 
weight when committed by the leader of the House of Com- 
mons." 

When Mr. Gladstone concluded, having torn the propo- 
sals of the Budget to shreds, a majority followed him into 
the division lobby, and Mr. Disraeli and his government 
were beaten by nineteen votes. The first encounter be- 
tween these great rivals resulted in a pronounced triumph 
for Mr. Gladstone. 

Lord Derby resigned. Politics were plunged into what 
seemed a condition of hopeless confusion and excitement. 
At last a coalition government of Whigs, Peelites and even 
Radicals was formed. In this government Lord Aberdeen 
was Prime Minister, Lord John Russell was President of 
the Council, and Mr. Gladstone Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer. If Mr. Gladstone had been making friends in the 
Camp of Liberalism, he was making bitter enemies in the 
Tents of Toryism. After having accepted office under 
Lord Aberdeen, he had of course to seek re-election at the 
hands of the University of Oxford. His seat was warmly 
if not bitterly contested. 

The nomination took place on the 4th of January. Mr. 
Gladstone was proposed by Dr. Hawkins, Provost of Oriel, 
and Mr. Perceval by Archdeacon Denison. In accordance 
with custom at University elections, neither candidate was 
present. The opposition to the Chancellor of the Ex- 
chequer was based chiefly on his votes on ecclesiastical ques- 
tions, and on his acceptance of office in a hybrid Ministry. 

Two days after the nomination, the Chancellor of the 
Exchequer wrote the following letter to the Chairman of 
his Election Committee: 



MEMBER FOR OXFORD. 161 

" Unless I had as full and clear conviction that the inter- 
ests of the Church, whether as relates to the legislative 
functions of Parliament, or the impartial and wise recom- 
mendation of fit persons to her Majesty, for high ecclesias- 
tical offices, were at least as safe in the hands of Lord 
Aberdeen as in those of Lord Derby (though I would on no 
account disparage Lord Derby's personal sentiments towards 
the Church), I should not have accepted office under Lord 
Aberdeen. As regards the second, if it be thought that 
during twenty years of public life, or that during the lat- 
ter part of them, I have failed to give guarantees of attach- 
ment to the interests of the Church, to such as so think, I 
can offer neither apology nor pledge. To those who think 
otherwise, I tender the assurance that I have not by my re- 
cent assumption of office, made any change whatever in that 
particular, or in any principles relating to it. " 

The poll lasted for fifteen days, and at its close Mr. Glad- 
stone was found to have been returned. The numbers were — 
Gladstone, 1,022; Perceval, 898 — majority, 124. 

On the 18th of April, 1853, he delivered the first of what 
has proved to be a long series of budget speeches unsur- 
passed in parliamentary history. There are some members 
in the present House of Commons who have a vivid recol- 
lection of the occasion. Expectation stood on tiptoe. The 
House was crowded in every part, and it remained crowded 
and tireless, while for the space of five hours Mr. Gladstone 
poured forth a flood of oratory which made arithmetic aston- 
ishingly easy, and gave an unaccustomed grace to statistics. 
Merely as an oratorical display, the speech was a rare treat 
to the crowded assembly that heard it, and to the in- 
numerable company which some hours later read it. But 
the form was rendered doubly enchanting by the substance. 
It was clear that Mr. Gladstone could not only adorn the 
exposition of finance with the glamour of oratory, but could 
control the developments of finance with a master hand. 



162 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

His scheme was a bold one. The young and untried 
Chancellor of the Exchequer found himself with a surplus 
of something over three-quarters of a million. This was 
not much; but was enough to make things pleasant in one 
or two influential quarters, and he might have hoped for a 
fuller purse next year. To have taken this course, to have 
dribbled away the surplus; practically to have left matters 
where they stood, would, moreover, have saved him an in- 
finitude of trouble and relieved him from a tremendous risk. 
Scorning these considerations, plunging into the troubled 
sea with the confident daring of genius, he positively in- 
creased taxation, chiefly by manipulation of the income tax, 
and was thereby enabled, in a wholesale manner that seems 
scarcely less than magical, to reduce or absolutely abolish 
the duties on nearly three hundred articles of commerce in 
daily use. The secret of the financier's necromancy lay in 
that sound principal which he may be said to have inaugu- 
rated in British finance, and under the extended application 
of which trade and commerce have advanced by leaps and 
bounds. He reckoned upon that property in national 
finance known as the " elasticity of revenue," now habitu- 
ally, as a matter of ordinary calculation, counted upon to 
make good deficiencies immediately accruing upon reduc- 
tion of taxation. 

A contemporary writer states that he never once paused 
for a word during the whole of the five hours, and awards 
to him the palm of an unsurpassed fluency and a choice 
diction. < i The impression produced upon the minds of the 
crowded and brilliant assembly by Mr. Gladstone's evident 
mastery and grasp of the subject was, that England had at 
length found a skillful financier, upon whom the mantle of 
Peel had descended. The cheering when the right hon. 
gentleman sat down was of the most enthusiastic and pro- 
longed character, and his friends and colleagues hastened to 
tender him their warm congratulations upon the distin- 



MEMBER FOR OXFORD. 163 

sruished success he had achieved in his first budget." When 
the louder plaudits had subsided, a hum of approbation 
still went round the House, and extended even to the fair 
occupants of the ladies' gallery. 

The Budget itself was a marvel of ingenious and far- 
seeing statesmanship. It was a grand effort to equalize 
tixation. It lifted many burdens that oppressed the poorer 
classes and very largely obstructed business. It took off 
no less than $25,000,000 of customs and excise duties; and 
it balanced these remissions by applying the succession duty 
to real property, increasing the duty on spirits, and extend- 
ing the income tax. 

In dealing with the income tax, Mr. Gladstone said: 
' ' Depend upon it, when you come to close quarters with 
this subject, when you come to measure and see the re- 
spective relations of intelligence and labor and pro- 
perty, and when you come to represent these relations 
in arithmetical results, you are undertaking an operation 
which I should say was beyond the power of man to 
conduct with satisfaction, but which, at any rate, is an 
operation to which you ought not constantly to recur; for if 
as my honorable friend once said very properly, this country 
could not bear a revolution once a year, I Avill venture to 
say that it could not bear a reconstruction of the income-tax 
once a year. Whatever you do in regard to the income-tax, 
you must be bold, you must be intelligible, you must be 
decisive. You must not palter with it. If you do, I have 
striven at least to point out as well as my feeble powers will 
permit, the almost desecration I would say, certainly the 
gross breach of duty to your country, of which you will 
be found guilty, in thus jeopardizing one of the most valu- 
able among all its material resources. I believe it to be of 
vital importance, whether you keep this tax or whether you 
part with it, that you should either keep it or leave it in a 
state in which it would be fit for service in an emergency, 



164 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

and that it will be impossible to do if you break up the 
basis of your income tax." 

In the following magnificent peroration, Mr. Gladstone 
clpsed one of the most wonderful financial statements the 
world has ever heard: 

"If the Committee have followed me, they will understand that 
we stand on the principle that the inrome-tax ought to be marked as 
a temporary measure ; that the public feeling that relief should be 
given to intelligence and skill as compared with property ought to be 
met, and may be met ; that the income-tax in its operation ought to 
be mitigated by every rational means, compatible with its integrity, 
and, above all, that it should be associated in the last term of its 
existence, as it was in the first, with those remissions of indirect 
taxation which have so greatly redounded to the profit of this coun- 
try, and have set so admirable an example — an example that has 
already in some quarters proved contagious to other nations of the 
earth. These are the principles on which we stand, and the figures 
I have shown you that if you grant us the taxes which we ask, the 
moderate amount of $12,500,000 in the whole, and much less than 
that sum for the present year, 3'ou, or the Parliament which may be 
in existence in I860, will be in the condition, if j t ou so think fit to 
part with the income-tax. I am almost afraid to look at the clock, 
shamefully reminding me, as it must, how long I have trespassed on 
the time of the House. All I can say in apology is, that I have 
endeavored to keep closely to the topics which I had before me — 

" — immensum spatiis confecimus gequor, 

Et jam tempus equum fumantia solvere colla." 

"These are the proposals of the Government. They may be 
approved, or they may be condemned, but I have this full confidence, 
that it will be admitted that we have not sought to evade the diffi- 
culties of the position ; that we have not concealed those difficulties 
either from ourselves or from others ; that we have not attempted to 
counteract them by narrow or flimsy expedients ; that we have pre- 
pared plans which, if you will adopt them, will go some way to close 
up many vexed financial questions, which, if not now settled, may be 
attended with public inconvenience, and even with public danger, in 
future years, and under less favorable circumstances; that we have 
endeavored, in the plans we have now submitted to you, to make the 
path of our successors in future years not more arduous, but more 
easy ; and I may be permitted to add that, while we have sought to 
do j istice to the great labor community of England, by furthering 
their relief from indirect taxation, we have not been guided by any 
desire to put one class against another. We have felt we should best 



MEMBER FOR OXFORD. 165 

maintain our own honor, that we should best meet the views of Par- 
liament, and best promote the interests of the country, by declining" 
to draw any invidious distinction between class and class, by adapting* 
it to ourselves as a sacred aim to diffuse and distribute the burdens 
with equal and impartial hand ; and we have the consolation of 
believing that by proposals such as these, we contribute as far as in 
us lies, not only to develop the material resources of the country, 
but to knit the various parts of this great nation yet more closely to 
than ever, to that Throne and to those institutions under which it is 
our happiness to live." 

During Mr. Gladstone's first tenure of office as Chancel- 
lor of the Exchequer, a carious adventure occurred to him 
in the London offices of the late Mr. W Lindsay, merchant, 
shipowner, and M. P. There one day entered a brusque 
and wealthy shipowner of Sunderland, inquiring for Mr. 
Lindsay. As Mr. Lindsay was out, the visitor was requested 
to wait in an adjacent room, where he found a person busily 
engaged in copying some figures. The Sunderland ship- 
owner paced the room several times, and took careful note 
of the writer's doings, and at length said to him, u Thou 
writes a bonny hand, thou dost." 

"I am glad you think so," was the reply. 

< ' Ah, thou dost. Thou makes thy figures weel. Thou'rt 
just the chap I want." 

" Indeed !" said the Londoner. 

" Yes, indeed," said the Sunderland man. "I'm a man 
of few words. Noo, if thou'lt come over to canny ould 
Sunderland, thou seest I'll give thee a hundred and twenty 
pounds a year, and that's a plum thou dost not meet with 
every day in thy life, I reckon. Noo then." 

The Londoner replied that he was much obliged for the 
offer, and would wait till Mr. Lindsay returned, whom he 
would consult upon the subject. Accordingly, on the return 
of the latter, he was informed of the shipowner's tempting 
offer. 

" Very well, " said Mr. Lindsay, "I should be sorry to 
stand in your way. One hundred and fifty pounds is more 



l<Hi LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

than I can afford to pay you in the department in which you 
are at present placed. You will find my friend a good and 
kind master, and, under the circumstances, the sooner you 
know each other the better. Allow me, therefore, Mr. 

, to introduce you to the Right Hon. W. E. Gladstone, 

Chancellor of the Exchequer." 

The Sunderland shipowner wished himself back in 
Sunderland. 

It is not necessary to enter at any great length into the 
story of the Crimean War. The Greek and Latin churches 
— Russia championing one and France the other — had 
quarreled of the custody of the Holy Places of Jerusalem, 
and out of this dispute arose a claim on the part of Russia 
to a protectorate over all the Greek subjects of the Sultan 
— a claim which the Sultan of course resisted. Great Britain 
took the field on the side of Turkey. It has been said again 
and again that England "drifted" into this war. Be this as 
it may, it is very certain that Mr. Gladstone took his full 
share of the responsibility of this very serious step. Long 
years afterwards, when quite willing to admit that the 
Crimean War was a great blunder, he nevertheless accepted 
his full share of blame. Speaking of the war shortly after 
its conclusion he said: "It was at its commencement, not 
only a just and necessary war, but it could not have been 
avoided. It was absolutely necessary to cut the meshes of 
the net in which Russia had entangled Turkey. It was a 
war carried on by a united people in the name and on the 
behalf of Europe, backed by a European combination and 
by the authority of European law." 

The charge made frequently that Mr. Gladstone was "a 
blind supporter either of Ottoman rule or of the integ- 
rity of the Ottoman Empire as such," can hardly be sus- 
tained. He expressly stated that the government was not 
engaged in maintaining the independence and integrity of 
the Ottoman Empire, as those words might be used with 



MEMBER FOR OXFORD. 167 

reference to the integrity and independence of England or 
of France. He further referred to the anomalies of the 
Eastern Empire, the political solecism of a Mussulman faith 
exercising a dominion over twelve millions of our fellow- 
creatures, the weakness inherent in the nature of the 
Turkish Government, and the eventualities that surrounded 
the future of that dubious empire, though he added that 
these were not the things with which any British Govern- 
ment had then to deal. This much will, therefore, be al- 
lowed, that Mr. Gladstone admitted and deplored the cor- 
ruptions of the Turkish Government, and the anomalous 
relations existing between the Porte and its Christian sub- 
jects. 

The members of the Peace Society strongly condemned 
the Aberdeen ministry for the course upon which it now 
entered. A deputation went to St. Petersburg to inter- 
view the Emperor Nicholas, but all in vain. Lord Aber- 
deen and Mr. Gladstone were both opposed to war in the 
abstract. On humanitarian as well as on national grounds 
Mr. Gladstone was bitterly opposed to war. He was al- 
most ready to accept John Bright's comprehensive dictum : 
"War is always a blunder and always a crime." We have 
referred to the phrase about England "drifting" into the 
war, it might rather be said that the war spirit was 
over all the land and that the government was "driven" to 
take a part in the conflict. The Emperor Napoleon made a 
final effort to preserve peace but his appeal was treated 
with disdain. The Czar was obstinate. A telegraphic dis- 
patch was received in Paris from the French representative 
at St. Petersburg consisting of this brief but insulting mes- 
sage in answer to Napoleon's note : "I return with re- 
fusal. " This settled the whole question. War was inevi- 
table and henceforth the French became the warm and 
enthusiastic allies of England. 



168 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

Mr. Gladstone's attitude is impressively described by Mr. 
Kinglake, the brilliant historian of the Crimean war, in the 
following words: 

" If he was famous for the splendor of his eloquence, for 
his unaffected piety, and for his blameless life, he was cele- 
brated far and wide for a more than common liveliness of 
conscience. He had once imagined it to be his duty to quit 
a government, and to burst through strong ties of friend- 
ship and gratitude, by reason of a thin shade of difference 
on the subject of white or brown sugar. It was believed 
that, if he were to commit even a little sin, or to enter- 
tain an evil thought, he would instantly arraign himself 
before the dread tribunal which awaited him within his own 
bosom; and that, his intellect being subtle and microscopic, 
and delighting in casuistry and exaggeration, he would be 
likely to give his soul a very harsh trial, and treat himself 
as a great criminal for faults too minute to be visible to the 
naked eyes of laymen. His friends lived in dread of his 
virtues as tending to make him whimsical and unstable, and 
the practical politicians, perceiving that he was not to be 
depended upon for party purposes, and was bent upon none 
but lofty objects, used to look upon him as dangerous — 
used to call him behind his back a good man — a good man 
in the worst sense of the term." 

In pleading that those who made war should be prepared 
to make the sacrifices needful to carry it out, and trusting 
that the day of honorable peace might not be far away, Mr. 
Gladstone said: 

< ' We have entered upon a great struggle, but we have en- 
tered upon it under favorable circumstances. AVe have pro- 
posed to you to make great efforts, and you have nobly and 
cheerfully backed our proposals. You have already by 
your votes added nearly 40,000 men to the establishments 
of the country; and, taking into account changes that have 
actually been can ied into effect with regard to the return 



MEMBER FOB OXFORD. 169 

of soldiers from the Colonies, and the arrangements which 
in the present state of Ireland might be made — but which 
are not made — with respect to the constabulary force, in 
order to render the military force disposable to the utmost 
possible extent. It is not too much to say that we have vir- 
tually an addition to the disposable forces of the country, 
by land and by sea, at the present moment, as compared 
with our position twelve months ago, to the extent of nearly 
50,000 men. This looks like an intention to carry on your 
war with vigor, and the wish and hope of her Majesty's 
Government is, that that may be truly said of the people of 
England, with regard to this war which was, I am afraid, 
not so truly said of Charles II by a courtly but great poet, 
Dryden — 

* He without fear, a daDgerous war pursues, 
Which without rashness he began before.' 

That, we trust, will be the motto of the people of England; 
and you have this advantage, that the sentiment of Europe, 
and we trust the might of Europe, is with you. These cir- 
cumstances — though we must not be sanguine, though it 
would be the wildest presumption for any man to say, when 
the ravages of European war had once begun, where and at 
what point it would be stayed — these circumstances justify 
us in cherishing the hope that possibly this may not be a 
long war." 

The history of the war was as sad a chapter as ever was 
written. After a dreadful winter passed in the Crimea, in 
which 24,000 British soldiers were sacrificed — largely the 
result of mismanagement of the War Department in London, 
the whole country was roused to the deepest sorrow and ex- 
citement. Mr. Gladstone described the matter to be one 
:or "weeping all day and praying all night." 

On January 26, 1855, Mr. Roebuck moved for a select 
committee "to inquire into the condition of our army be- 
fore Sebastopol, and into the conduct of those departments 



170 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

of the government whose duty it has been to minister to 
the wants of that army. " 

Mr. Roebuck's motion was carried, with an overwhelm- 
ing majority. 

For Mr. Roebuck's committee, 305. 

For ministers, 148 

Majority against ministers, 157* 

Thus fell the famous coalition cabinet of Lord Aberdeen. 

The Queen sent for Lord Derby, but Mr. Gladstone and 
the Peelites refused to join him, and he failed to form a 
ministry. Lord Palmerston formed a cabinet, in which 
Mr. Gladstone served as Chancellor of the Exchequer. 
"Within three weeks Mr. Gladstone and his Peelite colleagues 
left the government, Lord Palmerston having consented to 
the appointment of the committee asked for by Mr. Roe- 
buck. 

Mr. Gladstone now became a free lance. On a bye ques- 
tion which he had taken — the behavior of British authori- 
ties toward the Chinese in the matter of the Lorcha Arroiv — 
he succeeded in defeating the government. They were left 
in a minority of sixteen, and on the 21st of March Parlia- 
ment was dissolved. The general election which followed 
gave Lord Palmerston a substantial working majority. 

In this Parliament Mr. Gladstone took strong ground in 
opposition to the divorce bill which the government was 
supporting. 

" Marriage," he declared, was a " mystery" of the Chris- 
tian religion. * ' Our Lord had emphatically told us that at 
and from the beginning marriage was perpetual and was on 
both sides single." Christian marriage, according to Holy 
Scripture, was a life-long compact which may sometimes be 
put in abe}'ance by the separation of a couple, but which 
can never be rightfully dissolved so as to set them free dur- 
ing their joint lives to unite with other persons. " I could 
not," he said, " regard this measure in any other light ex- 



MEMBER FOB OXFORD. 171 

eept one — namely, as the first instalment of change, the first 
stage in a road of which we know nothing, except that it is 
different from that of our forefathers, and that it is a point 
which leads from the point to which Christianity has 
brought us and carries us back toward the state in which 
Christianity found the heathenism of man." 

The divorce bill was, nevertheless, carried into law. 

Mr. Roebuck's Sebastapol Committee presented its report 
on the 16th of June. The report was voluminous and 
exhaustive, every detail of the evidence given before 
the committee was carefully reviewed. The report ended 
thus : 

" Your committee report that the sufferings of the army 
resulted mainly from the circumstances under which the ex_ 
pedition to the Crimea was undertaken and executed. The 
administration which ordered that expedition had no adequate 
information as to the amount of forces in the Crimea. They 
were not acquainted with the strength of the fortresses to be 
attacked, or with the resources of the country to be invaded. 
They hoped and expected the expedition to be immediately 
successful, and as they did not foresee the probability of a 
protracted struggle, they made no provision for a winter 
campaign. The patience and fortitude of the army demand 
the admiration and gratitude of the nation on whose behalf 
they have fought, bled and suffered. Their heroic valor 
and equally heroic patience under sufferings and privations 
have given them claims on the country which will doubtless 
be gratefully acknowledged. Your committee will now 
close their report with a hope that every British army may 
in future display the valor which this noble army has dis- 
played, and that none may hereafter be exposed to such suf- 
ferings as have been recorded in these pages." 

When at last the power of Russia was broken, alike on 
the Baltic and the Black Sea, the Emperor gave up the 
struggle. Negotiations for peace were entered upon. A 



172 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

treaty of peace was subsequently concluded at Paris in 
March, 1856. 

In the debate on the celebrated Conspiracy Bill, Mr. Glad- 
stone made one of his remarkable speeches, the peroration 
of which we quote : 

' ' If there is any feeling in this House for the honor of 
England, don't let us be led away by some vague statement 
about the necessity of reforming the criminal law. Let us 
insist upon the necessity of vindicating that law. As far as 
justice requires, let us have the existing law vindicated, and 
then let us proceed to amend it if it be found necessary. 
But do not let us allow it to lie under a cloud of accusations 
of which we are convinced that it is totally innocent. These 
times are grave for liberty. We live in the nineteenth cen- 
tury ; we talk of progress ; we believe that we are advancing; 
but can any man of observation who has watched the events 
of the last few years in Europe have failed to perceive that 
there is a movement indeed, but a downward and backward 
movement ? There are a few spots in which institutions 
that claim our sympathy still exist and flourish. They are 
secondary places — nay, they are almost the holes and cor- 
ners of Europe, so far as mere material greatness is con- 
cerned, although their moral greatness will, I trust, insure 
them long prosperity and happiness. But in these times 
more than ever, does responsibility center upon the institu- 
tions of England ; and if it does center upon England, upon 
her principles, upon her laws, and upon her governors, then 
I say, that measure passed by this House of Commons — the 
chief hope of freedom — which attempts to establish a moral 
complicity between us and those who seek safety in repress- 
ive measures, will be a blow and a discouragement to that 
sacred cause in every country in the world." 

In 1858, the natives of the Ionian Islands — a republic 
under the protection of Great Britain, were in a very agi- 
tated state, being anxious to be annexed by Greece. To 



MEMBER FOR OXFORD. 173 

this England objected, and Mr. Gladstone was appointed 
Lord High Commissioner Extraordinary to the Ionian 
Islands. He arrived at Corfu with the object of doing his 
best to reconcile the inhabitants to the British protectorate. 
He was known to be a Greek student; and we learn that 
the population of the Islands persisted in regarding him not 
as the Commissioner of a Conservative English Government, 
but as "Gladstone the Phil-Hellene!" He was received 
wherever he went with the honors due to a liberator. His 
path everywhere was made to seem like a triumphal prog- 
ress. In vain he repeated his assurances that he came to 
reconcile the Islands to the protectorate, and not to deliver 
them from it. The popular instinct insisted upon regard- 
ing him as, at least, the precursor of their union to the king- 
dom of Greece. 

The legislative assembly of the Islands met, and presented 
a petition to Gladstone, proposing their annexation to 
Greece. Finding that this was their firm wish, the Lord 
High Commissioner dispatched home a copy of the vote, in 
which the representatives of the Ionian people, declared that 
"the single and unanimous will of the Ionian people has 
been and is, for their union with the kingdom of Greece." 
Mr. Gladstone left the Islands in February, 1859. The Ion- 
ians continued their agitation, and finally, in 1864, were 
formally given over to the government of Greece. 

The year 1860 saw the completion of the Commercial 
Treaty with France. Mr. Kichard Cobden, Napoleon III 
and Mr. Gladstone were chiefly responsible for this wise 
measure which brought France and England into more 
peaceful relations. The old hobgoblin of a " French inva- 
sion" was laid forever at rest. As John Bright said : "The 
Commercial Treaty had made worth while for France and 
England to keep the peace. This same year saw the last of 
the Paper Duty, the abolition of which, in 1861, was a 
natural sequence to the repeal of the Stamp Duty; 



1 74r LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

No place would be more suitable than this to refer to the 
lamented death of the Prince Consort, which took place in 
December, 1861. In the following April Mr. Gladstone 
was invited to open a new mechanics' institute in Manches- 
ter. From the speech then made and from his " Gleanings 
of Past Years 1 ' we cull the following tribute to Prince Albert: 

< i Over the tomb of such a man many tears might fall, 
but not one could be a tear of bitterness. These examples 
of rare intelligences, yet more rarely cultivated, with their 
great duties greatly done, are not lights kindled for a 
moment, in order then to be quenched in the blackness of 
darkness. While they pass elsewhere to attain their con- 
summation, they live on here in their good deeds, and their 
venerated memories in their fruitful example. As even a 
fine figure may be eclipsed by a gorgeous costume, so dur- 
ing life the splendid accompaniments of a Prince Consort's 
position may for the common eye throw the qualities of his 
mind and character, his true humanity, into the shade. 
These hindrances to effectual perception are now removed ; 
and Ave can see, like the forms of a Greek statue, severely 
pure in their bath of southern light, all his extraordinary 
gifts and virtues ; his manly force tempered with gentle- 
ness, playfulness and love ; his intense devotion to duty ; his 
pursuit of the practical, with an unfailing thought of the 
ideal ; his combined allegiance to Jbeauty and to truth ; the 
elevation of his aims, with his painstaking care and thrift 
of time, and methodizing of life, so as to waste no particle 
of his appliances and powers. His exact place in the hier- 
archy of bygone excellence it is not for us to determine ; 
but none can doubt that it is a privilege which, in the revo- 
lution of years, but rarely returns, to find such graces and 
such gifts of mind, heart, character and person, united in 
one and the same individual, and set so steadily and firmly 
upon a pedestal of such giddy height, for the instruction 
and admiration of mankind. 






MEMBER FOR OXFORD. 175 

" His comprehensive gaze ranged to and fro between 
the base and the summit of society, and examined the 
interior forces by which it is kept at once in balance and in 
motion. In his well-ordered life there seemed to be room 
for all things — for every manly exercise, for the study and 
practice of art, for the exacting cares of a splendid court, 
for minute attention to every domestic and paternal duty, 
for advice and aid toward the discharge of public business 
in its innumerable forms, and for meeting the voluntary 
calls of an active philanthropy ; one day in considering the 
best form for the dwellings of the people ; another day in 
bringing his just and gentle influence to bear on the relations 
of master and domestic servant; another in suggesting and 
supplying the means of culture for the most numerous 
classes ; another in some good work of almsgiving or relig- 
ion. Nor was it a merely external activity which he dis- 
played. His mind, it is evident, was too deeply earnest to 
be satisfied in anything, smaller or greater, with resting on 
the surface. With a strong grasp on practical life in all its 
forms, he united a habit of thought eminently philosophic, 
ever referring facts to their causes, and pursuing action to 
its consequences. Gone though he be from among us, he, 
like other worthies of mankind who have preceded him, is 
not altogether gone ; for, in the words of the poet — 

Your heads must come 

To the cold tomb. 

Only the actions of the just 

Smell sweet and blossom in the dust. 

" So he has left all men, in all classes, many a useful 
lesson, to be learned from the record of his life and char- 
acter. 

< * Perhaps no sharper stroke ever cut human lives asunder 
than that which parted, so far as this world of sense is con- 
cerned, the lives of the Queen of England and of her chosen 
Consort. It had been ohvinna to us all, though necessarily 



176 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

in different degrees, that they were blessed with the posses- 
sion of the secret of reconciling the discharge of incessant 
and wearing public duty with the cultivation of the inner and 
domestic life. The attachment that binds together wife and 
husband was known to be, in their case, and to have been from 
the first, of an unusual force. Through more than twenty 
years, which flowed past like one long unclouded summer day, 
that attachment was cherished, exercised and strengthened, 
b}^ all the forms of family interest, by all the associated 
pursuits of highly cultivated minds, by all the cares and 
responsibilities which surround the throne, and which the 
Prince was called, in his own sphere, both to alleviate and 
to share. On the one side, such love is rare, even in the 
annals of the love of woman ; on the other, such service 
can hardly find a parallel, for it is hard to know how a 
husband could render it to a wife, unless that wife were 
also Queen." 



CHAPTER XVII. 

Rejected by Oxford — Liberal Leader. 

"Henceforth Mr. Gladstone will belong- to the country, and no 

longer to the University."' 

—Times, July 19, 1S65. 

"Oxford, I think, will learn to regret her wide severance from 
one so loyal to the church, and to the faith, and to God." 

— Br Pusey 

Once the ties had been broken which bound him to his alma 
mater, and Mr. Gladstone felt like a man who breathes the fresh 
mountain air, after a close confinement in a crowded city. 

— L. Burnett Smith. 

The rejection of Mr. Gladstone by Oxford, after eighteen 
years of sincere and faithful service, forms an important 
and almost romantic episode in the career of the great 
statesman. In the minds of many — the wish being father 
to the thought — the rejection was a foregone conclusion. 
For a long time any word or action that could be construed 
into a point, however feeble and remote, that Mr. Glad- 
stone was fostering Liberal opinions, and that his face was 
turning toward the Liberal camp, had been eagerly 
seized upon by members of the Conservative party. In the 
House of Commons at the close of March 1865, Mr. Dill- 
wyn proposed "That the present position of the Irish 
church establishment is unsatisfactory, and calls for the 
early attention of her Majesty's government." 

Mr. Gladstone in response arose and said i 'That although 
the government were unable to agree to the resolution, they 
were not prepared to deny the abstract truth of the former 
part of it." These words were seized upon as practically 
conceding the whole question involved in Mr. Dillwyn's 

17T 



178 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

motion. Some months later Mr. Gladstone explained to 
Dr. Hannah, warden of Trinity College, Glenalmond, his 
reasons for not dealing at that time with the Irish Church. 
The reasons were thus expressed: 

"First, because the question is remote and apparently 
out of all bearing on the practical politics of the day, I 
think it would be for me worse than superfluous to deter- 
mine upon any scheme, or basis of a scheme, with respect to 
it. Secondly, because it is difficult; even if I anticipated 
any likelihood of being called upon to deal with it, I should 
think it right to take no decision beforehand on the mode of 
dealing with the difficulties. But the first reason is that 
which chiefly weighs. . . I think I have stated strongly 
my sense of the responsibility attaching to the opening of 
such a question, except in a state of things which gave 
promise of satisfactorily closing it. For this reason it is 
that I have been so silent about the matter, and may probably 
be so again; but I could not, as a Minister and as member 
for Oxford University, allow it to be debated an indefinite 
number of times, and remain silent. One thing, however, I 
may add, because I think it a clear landmark. — In any 
measure dealing with the Irish church, I think (though I 
scarcely expect ever to be called on to share in such a meas- 
ure) the Act of Union must be recognized, and must have 
important consequences, especially with reference to the 
position of the hierarchy." 

The sagacious and suspicious Oxford Dons could see in 
this guarded statement, the straw that indicated the direction 
of the current. 

On the sixth of July, 1865, Parliament was prorogued 
with a view of immediate dissolution. This parliament died a 
natural death. The one interesting event towards which all 
eyes was turning, was the fate of Mr. Gladstone as candi- 
date for the University of Oxford. That his seat was in 
peril had long been known. When the time for nomination 



REJECTED BY OXFORD — LIBERAL LEADER. 170 

came, Mr. Gathorne Hardy, a pronounced Conservative, was 
placed in opposition to Mr. Gladstone. On the thirteenth 
of July, the nomination took place, being conducted as was 
the custom in Latin. Dr. Liddall proposed Mr. Gladstone; 
the warden of All Soul's proposed Sir William Heathcote; 
and the Public Orator proposed Mr. Gathorne Hardy. 
A period of five days was allowed for keeping open the 
polls. Mr. Gladstone was in a minority from the begin- 
ning. His votes fell six below Mr. Hardy on the first day. 
On the third day his minority increased to seventy-four and 
on the fourth to 230. Every effort was made by his friends, 
but all in vain. The Tory parsons had made up their minds 
to defeat him. Sir J. T. Coleridge, chairman of Mr. Glad- 
stone's committee sent out the following note: 

"The committee do not scruple to advocate his cause on 
grounds above the common level of politics. They claim for 
him the gratitude due to one whose public life has for eight- 
een years reflected a lustre on the University herself. They 
confidently invite you to consider whether his pure and 
exalted character, his splendid abilities, and his eminent 
services to church and state, do not constitute the highest of 
all qualifications for an academical seat, and entitle him to 
be judged by his constituents, as he will assuredly be judged 
by posterity." 

Mr. Gladstone's minority was reduced somewhat, but 
the state of the poll was finally declared as follows : 
Sir William Heathcote, - - 3,236 

Mr. Gathorne Hardy, - - - 1,904 
Mr. W. E. Gladstone, - - - 1,724 
Majority for Mr. Hardy over Mr. Gladstone 180. 
Mr. Gladstone's defeat was due to non-residents, yet 
amongst the distinguished voters who supported him were 
the following : The Bishops of Durham, Oxford and 
Chester, Earl Cowper, the Dean of Westminster, the Dean 
of Christ church, Professors Farrar, Rolleston, and Max 



180 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

Muller, the Dean of Lichfield, Sir J. T. Coleridge, Sir Henry 
Thompson, the Eev. Dr. Jelf, the Bodleian Librarian, Sir 
F. T. Palgrave, the Right Hon. S. Lushington, the Dean of 
St. Paul's, the Rev. John Keble, the Principal of Brasenose, 
the Dean of Peterborough, Prof. Conington, the Rev. J. B. 
Mozley, Mr. E. A. Freeman, Chief Justice Erie, Dr. Pusey, 
Prof. Jowett, Mr. Cardwell, the Marquis of Kildare, and 
the Rector of Lincoln. 

The whole Liberal party of England had looked forward 
with ardent hope and desire to the defeat of Mr. Gladstone 
at Oxford. If Oxford cast out her honored son it would 
give the Liberal party an irresistible leader. The election 
in South Lancashire was just pending. At the nomination 
on the 17th, Mr. Gladstone was proposed as a candidate, in 
view and hope of the almost certain defeat at Oxford. The 
die was cast. Mr. Gladstone hastened to Manchester and 
met the Liberal election committee, and at once issued the 
following brief address to the electors of South Lancashire : 

' ' To the electors of South Lancashire : Gentlemen — I 
appear before you as a candidate for the suffrages of your 
division of my native county. Time forbids me to enlarge 
on the numerous topics which justly engage the public in- 
terest. I will bring them all to a single head. You are 
conversant — few so much so — with the legislation of the last 
thirty-five years. You have seen, you have felt its results. 
You cannot fail to have observed the verdict which the 
country generally has, within the last eight days, pronounced 
upon the relative claims and positions of the two great po- 
litical parties with respect to that legislation in the past, 
and to the prospective administration of public affairs. I 
humbly, but confidently, without the least disparagement 
to many excellent persons, from whom I have the misfortune 
frequently to differ, ask you to give your powerful voice in 
confirmation of that verdict, and to pronounce with signifi- 
cance as to the direction in which you desire the wheels of 



REJECTED BY OXFORD LIBERAL LEADER. 181 

the State to move. Before these words can be read, I 
hope to be among you in the hives of your teeming 
enterprise. " 

At the close of the poll at Oxford, on the 18th of July, 
1865, which recorded Mr. Harding's triumph and Mr. 
Gladstone's defeat, Mr. Gladstone wrote the following 
impressive valedictory to the members of the convocation : 

" After an arduous connection of eighteen years, I bid 
you respectfully farewell. My earnest purpose to serve 
you, my many faults and shortcomings, the incidents of the 
political relation between the University and myself, estab- 
lished in 1847, so often questioned in vain, and now at 
length, finally dissolved, I leave to the judgment of the 
future. It is one imperative duty, and one alone, which 
induces me to trouble you with these few parting words — 
the duty of expressing my profound and lasting gratitude 
for indulgences as generous and for support as warm and 
enthusiastic in itself, and as honorable from the character 
and distinctions of those who have given it, as has, in my 
belief, ever been accorded by any constituency to any rep- 
resentative. " 

On this memorable 18th of July, seven thousand men 
were wedged into the Free Trade Hall in Manchester, wait- 
ing to hear the voice of the defeated of Oxford. The rank 
and file of the Liberal party regarded this defeat as the ' ' one 
thing needful " to the national triumph of the party and its 
principles. " Let Oxford reject him," they said, " and he 
will come to us < unmuzzled.' " The word was passed from 
lip to lip, till it became " familiar as a household word." 

When Mr. Gladstone appeared upon the platform he met 
with an enthusiastic welcome, such as has not often been 
accorded to the most popular favorite. After silence was 
restored, he commenced that memorable speech in words 
which set that vast audience wild with ungovernable 
delight. 



182 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

" At last, my friends," he said, " I am come among you, 
vind I am come among you — to use an expression which has 
become very famous, and is not likely to be forgotten — I 
am come among you i unmuzzled. ' " At that word " un- 
muzzled " cheer rose on cheer ; then silence for a breathing 
space, and then cheers, longer and louder and more intense. 
At last the cheers ceased from sheer exhaustion, upon 
which Mr. Gladstone proceeded : 

"After an anxious struggle of eighteen years, during 
which the unbounded devotion and indulgence of my friends 
maintained me in the arduous position of representative of 
the University of Oxford, I have been driven from my seat. 
I have loved the University with a deep and pass- 
ionate love, and as long as I breathe, that attachment will 
continue; if my affection is of the smallest advantage to that 
great, that ancient, that noble institution. That advantage, 
such as it is, and it is most insignificant, Oxford will pos- 
sess as long as I live. But don't mistake the issue which 
has been raised. The University has at length, after eight- 
een years of self-denial, been drawn by wd> 7, might, per- 
haps, call an overweening exercise of power, into the vortes: 
of mere politics. Well, you will readily understand why, 
as long as I had a hope that the zeal and kindness of my 
friends might keep me in my place, it was impossible forme 
to abandon them. Could they have returned me by a ma- 
jority of one, painful as it is to a man of my time of life, 
and feeling the weight of public cares, to be incessantly 
struggling for his seat, nothing could have induced me to 
quit that University to which I had so long ago devoted my 
best care and attachment. But by no act of mine I am free 
to come among you. And having been thus set free, I need 
hardly tell you that it is with joy, with thankfulness and 
enthusiasm, that I now, at this eleventh hour, a candidate 
without an address, make my appeal to the heart and the 
mind of South Lancashire, and ask you to pronounce upon 



REJECTED BY OXFORD LIBERAL LEADER. 183 

that appeal. As I have said,. I am aware of no cause for the 
votes which have given a majority against me in the Univer- 
sity of Oxford, except the fact that the strongest conviction 
that the human mind can receive, that an overpowering 
sense of the public interests, that the practical teachings of 
experience, to which from my youth, Oxford herself taught 
me to lay open my mind — all these had shown me the folly, 
and I will say, the madness of refusing to join in the gener- 
ous sympathies of my countrymen, by adopting what I must 
call an obstructive policy. 

"Without entering into details, without unrolling the long 
record of all the great measures that have been passed — the 
emancipation of Roman Catholics, the removal of Tests from 
Dissenters, the reformation of the Poor Law, the reforma- 
tion — I had almost said the destruction, but it is the refor- 
mation — of the Tariff; the abolition of the Corn laws; the 
abolition of the Navigation laws; the conclusion of the 
French treaty; the laws which have relieved Dissenters from 
stigma and almost ignomy, and which in doing so have not 
weakened, but have strengthened the church to which I 
belong — all these great acts accomplished with the same, I 
had almost said sublime, tranquility of the whole country as 
that with which your own vast machinery performs its 
appointed task, as it were in perfect repose — all these things 
have been done. You have seen the acts. You have seen 
the fruits. 

It is natural to inquire who have been the doers. In a 
very humble measure and yet according to the degree and 
capacity of the powers which Providence has bestowed upon 
me, I have been desirous not to obstruct but to promote and 
assist, this beneficient and blessed process. And if I entered 
Parliament, as I did enter Parliament with a warm and 
anxious desire to maintain the institutions of my country, I 
can truly say that there is no period of my life during which 
my conscience is so clear and renders me so good an answer, 



184 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

as those years in which I have co-operated in the promotion 
of Liberal measures. * * * Because they are Liberal 
measures; they are true measures, and indicate the true 
policy by which the country is made strong and its institu- 
tions preserved." 

Mr. Gladstone then proceeded to Liverpool, and in an ad- 
dress to an immense audience in the Eoyal Amphitheatre in 
the evening, made the following pathetic reference to 
his relations to Oxford: — "If I am told that it is only by 
embracing the narrow interests of a political party that Ox- 
ford can discharge her duties to the country, then gentle- 
men, I at once say, I am with the man for Oxford. We 
see represented in that ancient institution — represented 
more nobly, perhaps, and more conspicuously than in any other 
place, at any rate with more remarkable concentration — the 
most prominent features that relate to the past of England. 
I come into South Lancashire, and find here around me an 
assemblage of different phenomena. I find developments of 
industry; I find growth of enterprise; I find progress of so- 
cial philanthropy; I find prevalence of toleration, and I find 
an ardent desire for freedom. * * * * I have honest- 
ly, I have earnestly, although I may have feebly, striven to 
unite, in my insignificent person that which is represented 
by Oxford and that which is represented by Lancashire. 
My desire is that they shall know and love one another. If 
I have clung to the representation of the university with 
desperate fondness, it was because I would not desert that 
post in which I seem to have been placed. I have not 
abandoned it. I have been dismissed from it, not by academ- 
ical, but by political agencies. I don't complain of those, or 
those political influences by which I have been displaced. 
The free constitutional spirit of the country requires that 
the voice of the majority should prevail. I hope the voice 
of the majority will prevail in South Lancashire. I do not 
for a moment complain that it should have prevailed in Ox- 



REJECTED BY OXFORD LIBERAL LEADER. 185 

ford. But, gentlemen, I come now to ask you a question 
whether, because I have been declared unfit longer to serve the 
University on account of my political position, there is any- 
thing in what I have said and done, in the arduous office 
which I hold, which is to unfit me for the representation of 
my native country ? 

One of the most remarkable comments on this exciting epi- 
sode, is to be found in a letter addressed by Dr. Pusey, the 
sainted author of "The Christian Year," to the Editor of 
the Churchman, a pronounced Tory journal. The letter ran 
thus: "You are naturally rejoicing over the rejection of 
Mr. Gladstone, which I mourn. Some of those who con- 
curred in that election, or who stood aloof, will, I fear, 
mourn hereafter with a double sorrow, because they were 
the cause of that rejection. I, of course, speak only 
for myself, with whatever degree of anticipation may be 
the privilege of years. Yet, on the very ground that 
I may very probably not live to see the issue of the mo- 
mentous future now hanging over the Church, let me 
through you, express to those friends from whom I have 
been separated, who love the Church in itself, and not the 
accident of Establishment, my conviction, that we should do 
it to identify the interests of the Church with any political 
party; that we have questions before us, compared with 
which that of the Establishment (important as L is in respect 
to the possession of our parish churches) is as nothing. The 
grounds alleged against Mr. Gladstone, bore at the utmost 
upon the Establishment. The Establishment might perish, 
and the Church but come forth the purer. If the Church 
were corrupted, the Establishment would become a curse in 
proportion to its influence. As that conflict will thicken, 
Oxford I think will learn to regret her rude severance from 
one so loyal to the Church, to the faith and to God." 

Mr. G. Barnett Smith reviews the rejection of Mr. Glad- 
stone in the following terse and comprehensive words : 



186 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

" While the rejection of Mr. Gladstone by the University 
oi* Oxfoid, was regarded in some quarters as a signal triumph 
of Conservative reaction, in other respects it was felt that 
the opposition offered to him was a most mistaken stroke of 
Tory policy. Though he always courageously acted upon 
his convictions, so long as he retained his seat for Oxford 
University, he must have remained to some extent fettered. 
lie could not altogether shake off the silent but deep and un- 
mistakable influence which such a connection must necessar- 
ily exercise. Once the ties had been broken, which bound 
him to his Alma Mater, Mr. Gladstone felt like a man 
who breathes the fresh mountain air after a close confine- 
ment in the crowded city. There were now many questions 
whose consideration he could approach without the sense 
of an invisible but restraining influence. By the whole Lib- 
eral party throughout the country, his rejection was immedi- 
ately regarded with feelings cf exultation — much as (for 
some reasons) they had desired his return for that distin- 
guished seat of learning which he had represented so long 
and so well. By a large class of non-resident voters, Mr. 
Gladstone was viewed as too clever to be a safe man; and it 
Avas not anticipated that Mr. Gathorne Hardy would forfeit 
the confidence of this body, by any eccentricities of genius. v 
The Times of July lDth, 1865, in dealing with the matter 
said: "The enemies of the University will make the most 
of her disgrace. It has hitherto been supposed that a 
learned constituency was to some extent exempt from the 
vulgar motives of party spirit, and capable of forming a 
higher estimate of statesmanship, than common tradesmen or 
tenant-farmers. It will now stand on record that they have 
deliberately sacrificed a representative who combined the 
very highest qualifications, moral and intellectual, for an ac- 
ademical seat, to party-spirit, and party-sprit alone. . . . 
Henceforth Mr. Gladstone will belong to the country, but 
uo longer to the University. Those Oxford influences and 



REJECTED BY OXFORD LIBERAL LEADER. 187 

traditions, which have so deeply colored his views, and so 
greatly interfered with his better judgment, must gradually 
lose their hold on him." 

The Daily JVews, which was then regarded as the organ 
of the most advanced liberal thought, expressed itself thus : 

< 'Mr. Gladstone's career as a statesman, will certainly not 
be arrested, nor Mr. Gathorne Hardy's capacity be enlarged 
by the number of votes which Tory squires or Tory par 
sons may inflict upon Lord Derby's cheerful and fluent 
subaltern, or withhold from Lord Palmerston's brilliant col- 
league. The late Sir Eobert Peel was but the chief of a 
party, until admonished by one ostracism, he became finally 
emancipated by another. Then, as noAV, the statesman who 
was destined to give up to mankind what was never meant 
for the barren service of a party, could say to the honest 
bigots who rejected him — 

I banish you; 
There is a world elsewhere. 

' < Mediocrity will not be turned into genius, honest and 
good-natured insignificance into force, fluency into elo- 
quence, if the resident and non-resident Toryism of the 
University of Oxford, should prefer the safe and sound Mr. 
Hardy to the illustrious Minister, whom all Europe envies 
us ; whose name is a household word in every political 
assembly in the world." 



CHAPTER XVIII. 

THE GREAT WORK OF REFORM. 

Then, as now, the statesman who v,as destined to give up to man- 
kind what was never meant for the barren service of a party could 
say to the honest bigots who rejected him: 

"I banish you: 
There is a world elsewhere.*' 

— Daily News, July 19, 1865. 

Who is this man w r hose words have might 

To lead you from your rest or care, 
Who speaks as if the earth were right 

To stop its course and listen there? 
He bids you wonder, weep, rejoice, 

Saying t; It is yourselves, not I; 
I speak but with the people's voice, 

I see but with the people's eye !" 

— Lord Houghton. 

The severing of the political tie with his university after 
eighteen years' connection with it, may have been in some 
sense a relief, but it was a very severe blow to so sensitive 
a man as Mr. Gladstone. How keenly he felt the blow we 
may gather from the following paragraph of a letter he 
wrote to Samuel Wilberforce, Lord Bishop of Oxford, his 
tried and trusted friend: 

"There have been two deaths or transmigrations of spirit, 
in my political existence — one, very slow, the breaking of 
ties with my original party; the other very short and sharp > 
the breaking of the tie with Oxford. There will probably 
be a third and no more." 

Mr. Gladstone was returned for South Lancashire, but 
not at the head of the poll. There were three members 
returned for this constituency. Of the six candidates who 
entered the contest Mr. Gladstone came out third on the 

188 



THE GREAT WORK OF REFORM. 189 

list. It is worth remarking, however, that he had a consid- 
erable majority in all large towns. There was the strong- 
hold of the Liberal party. The general election resulted in 
a majority for the Liberals, and Lord Palmerston continued 
in office. But unforeseen changes were at hand. 

On the 18th of October, 1865, the venerable Lord 
Palmerston, at the age of eighty, passed away from toil to 
rest. Mr. Gladstone offered a eulogy on his late chief, of 
which the following is the closing paragraph : 

' i All who knew Lord Palmerston knew his genial temper 
and the courage with which he entered into the debates of 
the House ; his incomparable tact and ingenuity — his com- 
mand of fence — his delight, his old English delight, in a 
fair stand-up fight. Yet, notwithstanding the possession of 
these powers, I must say I think there was no man whose 
inclination and whose habit were more fixed, so far as our 
discussions were concerned, in avoiding whatever tended to 
exasperate, and in having recourse to those means by which 
animosity might be calmed down. He had the power to 
stir up angry passions, but he chose, like the sea god in the 
iEneid, rather to pacify. That which, in my opinion, dis- 
tinguished Lord Palmerston's speaking from the oratory of 
other men, that which was its most remarkable character- 
istic, was the degree in which he said precisely that which 
he meant to express." 

Lord John Russell was sent for by the Queen. He reor- 
ganized the government. He had been raised to the House 
of Lords, and now became Prime Minister with Mr. Glad- 
stone as Chancellor of the Exchequer and leader of the 
House of Commons. 

Here were new honors. Here was a higher place, with 
trying duties and enlarged responsibilities. Would Mr. 
Gladstone prove equal to the tasks!; Many were sanguine 
and hopeful, but not a few feared. Many years have passed 
since then, and surely few men have been more thoroughly 



190 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

tested; but the almost universal testimony of those best 
qualified to judge is that Mr. Gladstone has proved the most 
able and successful leader of the House of Commons Eng- 
land has ever known. Mr. Gladstone was always an enthusi- 
ast, and in this new place and to these new tasks to which 
he had been so suddenly and so strangely called he devoted 
himself with most admired devotion. Every detail of the 
new calling had his most careful attention. u Like Lord 
Palmerston, he generally remained in the House from the 
commencement of the sittings to the close of them, however 
late the adjournment might be. But he did not, like him, 
slumber during the greater part of the sittings; on the con- 
trary he listened attentively to every speaker, answered 
fully every question put to him, spoke on every subject, 
and exhibited a sensitive and conscientious anxiety to dis- 
charge his functions as leader of the House, which his friends 
feared would soon disable him from the performance of the 
responsible duties which belonged to him, and with his fall 
precipitate that of the Government of which he was the 
mainstay." 

Mr. Gladstone's first great duty in the new Parliament 
was to introduce Lord John Russell's reform bill. This 
bill proposed to create an occupation franchise in counties, 
including houses at $70 rental, and reaching up to $250 the 
occupation rental. It was calculated that this would add 
171,000 to the electoral list. It was further proposed to 
introduce into counties the provision which copy-holders 
and lease-holders within Parliamentary boroughs now pop 
sessed for the purpose of county votes. Then came a sav- 
ings-bank franchise. All male adults who had deposited 
$250 in a savings-bank for two years would be entitled to 
be registered for the place in which they resided. Thi^ 
would add 10,000 to 15,000 electors to the constituencies 
of England and Wales. The rate-paying clauses of the Re- 
form act wero to be abolished; this would admit 25,000 



THE GREAT WORK OF REFORM. 193 

voters above the line of $50. There was also to be a lodger 
franchise, and a $50 annual va^ue of apartments franchise. 
The bill would add 400,000 new voters to the constituencies 
Mr. Gladstone's great speech on the introduction of the bill 
was called for a time "the banner speech of reform." The 
speech closed thus: 

< L If issue is taken adversely upon this bill, I hope it will 
be, above all, a plain and direct issue. I trust it will be 
taken upon the question, whether there is or is not to be an 
enfranchisement downwards, if it is to be taken at all. We 
have felt that to carry enfranchisnment above the present 
line was essential; essential to character, essential to credit, 
essential to usefulness ; essential to the character and credit 
not merely of the Government, not merely of the political 
party by which it has the honor to be represented, but of 
this House, and of the successive Parliaments and Govern- 
ments, who all stand pledged with respect to this question 
of the representation. We cannot consent to look upon 
this large addition, considerable although it may be, to the 
political power of the working classes of this country, as if 
it was an addition fraught with mischief and with danger. 
We cannot look, and we hope no man will look, upon it as 
some Trojan horse approaching the walls of the sacred city, 
and filled with armed men, bent upon ruin, plunder and con- 
flagration. We cannot join in comparing it with the monr 
strum infeiix — we cannot say — 

11 Scandit fa talis machina muros, 



Foeta armis : mediae minans illabitur urbi." 

I believe that those persons whom we ask you to enfran- 
chise ought rather to be welcomed, as you would welcome 
recruits to your army, or children to your family. We 
ask you to give within what you consider to be the just lim- 
its of prudence and circumspection ; but, having once deter- 
mined those limits, to give with an ungrudging hand. Con- 
sider what you can safely and justly afford to do in admit- 



L 9 2 LIFE OF G LADSTOK E . 

ting new subjects and citizens within the pale of the Parlia- 
mentary constitution ; and having so considered it, do not, 
I beseech you, perform the act as if you were compounding 
with danger and misfortune. Do it as if you were confer- 
ring a boon that will be felt and reciprocated in grateful 
attachment. Give to these persons new interests in the 
Constitution, new interests which, by the beneficent pro- 
cesses of the law of nature and of Providence, shall beget in 
them new attachment; for the attachment of the people to 
the Throne, the institutions, and the laws under which they 
live is, after all, more than gold and silver, or more than 
fleets and armies, at once the strength, the glory, and the 
safety of the land. 

Mr. Lowe, who had just returned from Austrailia, a bril- 
liant and incisive speaker, attacked the bill. Mr. Laing 
and Mr. Horsman deserted the Government. The latter ob- 
serving that Mr. Gladstone's speech was "another promise 
made to be broken, another political fraud and Parliament- 
ary juggle." This brought John Bright to his feet with 
one of those caustic retorts, for which the great "Tribune of 
the People," was celebrated. He ridiculed the idea of Mr. 
Horsman and Mr. Lowe, forming a third party : Mr. 
Horsman," he said, "has retired into what may be called his 
political Cave of Adullam, to which he invited every one 
who was in distress and every one who was discontented. lie 
has long been anxious to found a party in the House; and 
there is scarcely a member at this end of the House who is 
able to address us with effect or to take much part, whom 
he has not tried to bring over to his party and his cabal. 
At last he has succeeded in hooking the right hon. gentle- 
man the member for Calne, Mr. Lowe. I know it was the 
opinion many years ago of a member of the Cabinet that 
two men could make a party. AVhen a party is formed of 
two men so amiable and so disinterested as the two right 
hon. gentlemen, we may hepj to see for the first time iL 






THE GREAT WORK OF REFORM. 



193 



Parliament, a party perfectly harmonious and distinguished 
by mutual and unbroken trust. But there is one difficulty 
which it is impossible to remove. This party of two is like 
the Scotch terrier that was so covered with hair that you 
could not tell which was the head and which was the tail." 




THE THIRD PARTY. 



The bill met with fierce opposition. The country was 
thoroughly aroused. In all the large towns in the north of 
England, large meetings were held, and hundreds of thou- 
sands of those who had no vote, no share in the government 
of the country whose burdens they bore, — and all because 
they could not afford to pay §50 rental, began to understand 
who were their true friends. Mr. Bright Avrote a strong 
letter to his constituents at Rochdale, in which he referred 



194 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

to the opposition as u a dirty conspiracy," and added: "The 
men who, in every speech they utter, insult the working 
men, describing them as a multitude given up to ignorance 
and vice, will be the first to yield when the popular will is 
loudly and resolutely expressed." 

At a great meeting held in Liverpool Mr. Gladstone said: 
"Having produced this measure, founded in a spirit of mod- 
eration, we hope to support it with decision. It is not in 
our power to secure the passage of the measure; that rests 
more with you, and more with those whom you represent, 
and of whom you are a sample, than it does with us. Still, 
we have a great responsibility, and are conscious of it; and 
we do not intend to flinch from it. We stake ourselves — we 
stake our existence as a Government — and we also stake our 
political character on the adoption of the bill in its main 
provisions. You have a right to expect from us that we 
should tell you what we mean, and that the trumpet which 
it is our business to blow, should give forth no uncertain 
sound. Ets sound has not been, and, I trust, will not be, 
uncertain. We have passed the Rubicon — we have broken 
the bridge, and burned the boats behind us. We have ad- 
visedly cut off the means of retreat, and having done this, 
we hope that, as far as time is yet permitted, we have done 
our duty to the Crown and to the nation. 

At the close of this great debate Mr. Gladstone made a 
reference to Mr. Disraeli's fear lest the Constitution should 
be reconstructed on American principles: 

' ' At last we have obtained a declaration from an authori- 
tative source that a bill which, in a country with five millions 
of adult males, proposes to add to a limited constituency 
200,000 of the middle class and 200,000 of the working 
class, is, in the judgment of the leader of the Tory party, a 
bill to reconstruct the Constitution upon American principles. " 

But, in the closing speech of that great debate, Mr. 
Gladstone administered a flagellation to the Eight Hon. 



THE GREAT WORK OF REFORM. 195 

Benjamin Disraoli which he probably never forgot. Ad- 
dressing him, Mr. Gladstone said: 

"The right honorable gentleman, secure in the recollection of his 
own consistency, has taunted me with the errors of my boyhood. 
When he addressed the honorable member for Westminster, he showed 
his magnanimity by declaring that he would not take the philosopher 
to task for what he wrote twenty-five years ago; but when he caught 
one who, thirty-six years ago, just emerged from boyhood, and still 
an undergraduate at Oxford, had expressed an opinion adverse to the 
Reform Bill of 1832, of which he had so long and bitterly repented, 
then the right honorable gentleman could not resist the temptation. 
He, a Parliamentary leader of twenty years' standing, is so ignorant of 
the House of Commons, that he positively thought he got a Parlia- 
mentary advantage by exhibiting me as an opponent of the Reform 
Bill of 1832. As the right honorable gentleman has exhibited me, let 
me exhibit myself. It is true, I deeply regret it, but I was bred under 
the shadow of the great name of Canning. Every influence connected 
with that name governed the politics of my childhood and of my 
youth. With Canning I rejoiced in the removal of religious disabili- 
ties and in the character which he gave to our policy abroad. With 
Canning I rejoiced in the opening which he made toward the estab- 
lishment of free commercial interchanges between nations. With 
Canning, and under the shadow of that great name, and under the 
shadow of that yet more venerable name of Burke, I grant, my 
youthful mind and imagination were impressed just the same as the 
mature mind of the right honorable gentleman is now impressed. I 
had conceived that fear and alarm of the first Reform Bill in the 
days of my undergraduate career at Oxford, which the right honorable 
gentleman now feels ; and the only difference between us is this — I 
thank him for bringing it out — that, having those views, I moved the 
Oxford Union Debating Society to express them clearly, plainly, 
forcibly, in downright English, and that the right honorable gentle- 
man is still obliged to skulk under the cover of the amendment of the 
noble lord. I envy him not one particle of the polemical advantage 
which he has gained by his discreet reference to the proceedings of 
the Oxford Union Debating Societj 7- , in the year of grace 1831. My 
position, sir, in regard to the Liberal party, is in all points the oppo- 
site of Earl Russell's I have none of the claims he 

possesses. I came among you an outcast from those with whom I 
associated; driven from them, I admit, by no arbitrary act, but by the 
slow and resistless forces of conviction. I came among you, to make 
use of the legal phraseology, in forma pauperis. I had nothing to 
offer you but faithful and honorable service. You received me, as 
Dido received the shipwrecked yEneas — 

'Ejectum littore, egentum accepi.' 



196 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

and I only trust you may not hereafter at any time have to complete 
the sentence in regard to me — 

' Et regni, demens, in parte loeavi.' 
You received me with kindness, indulgence, generosity, and, I may 
even say, with some measure of confidence. And the relation between 
us has assumed such a form that you can never be my debtors, but 
that I must forever be in your debt. It is not from me, under such 
circumstances, that any word will proceed that can savor of the char- 
acter which the right honorable gentleman imputes to the conduct of 
the Government with respect to the present bill." 

Turning then to the more particular business of the hour, 
the Chancellor of the Exchequer concluded: 

" Sir, we are assailed ; this bill is in a state of crisis and of peril, 
and the Government along with it. We stand or fall with it, as has 
been declared by my noble friend, Lord Russell. We stand with it 
now ; we may fall with it a short time hence. If we do so fall, we, 
or others in our places, shall rise with it hereafter. I shall not 
attempt to measure with precision the forces that are to be arrayed 
against us in the coming issue. Perhaps the great division of to- 
night is not the last that must take place in the struggle. At some 
point of the contest you may possibly succeed. You may drive us 
from our seats. You may bury the bill that we have introduced, but 
we will write upon its gravestone for an epitaph this line, with cer- 
tain confidence in its fulfillment — 

' Exoriare aliquis nostris ex ossibus nltor.' 
You cannot fight against the future. Time is on our side. The great 
social forces which move onward in their might and majesty, an I 
which the tumult of our debates does not for a moment impede or 
disturb — those great social forces are against you ; they are mar- 
shaled on our side ; and the banner which we now carry in this fight, 
though perhaps at some moment it may droop over our sinking 
heads, yet it soon again will float in the eye of Heaven, and it will be 
borne by the firm hands of the united people of the three kingdoms, 
perhaps not to an easy, but to a certain and to a not far distant vic- 
tory." 

The division took place under circumstances of the greatest 
excitement. The Speaker having put the question, mem- 
bers withdrew. In due course the result was known — Ayes, 
318; noes, 313. Government majority, 5. 

It was the privilege of the present writer to be present 
on this memorable occasion. But, another who was present 
shall describe the scene : 



THE GREAT WORK OF REFORM. 197 

" Hardly had the words escaped the tellei's lips than there arose a 
wild, ragiog, mad-brained shout from the floor and gallery such as has 
never been heard in the present House of Commons. Dozens of half- 
frantic Tories stood up in their seats, madly waved their hats, and 
hurrahed at the top of their voices. Strangers in both galleries 
clapped their hands. The Adullamites on the Ministerial benches, 
carried away by the delirium of the moment, waved their hats in sym- 
pathy with the Opposition, and cheered as loudly as any. The Chan- 
cellor of the Exchequer, in his speech, had politely performed the 
operation of holding a candle to — Lucifer (Mr. Lowe); and he, the 
prince of the revolt, the leader, instigator, and prime mover of the 
conspiracy, stood up in the excitement of the moment — flushed, tri- 
umphant, and avenged. His hair, brighter than silver, shone and 
glistened in the brilliant light. His complexion had deepened into 
something like bishop's purple. His small, regular, and almost 
woman-like features, always instinct with intelligence now mantled 
with the liveliest pleasure. He took off his hat, waved it in wide and 
triumphant circles over the heads of the very men who had just gone 
into the lobby against him. "Who would have thought there were 
so much in Bob Lowe? " said one member to another; "why, he was 
one of the cleverest men in Lord Palmerston's Government! " "All 
this comes of Lord Russell's sending for Goschen," was the reply. 
'Disraeli did not half so signally avenge himself against Peel," inter- 
posed another; "Lowe has very nearly broken up the Liberal party.'' 
These may seem to be exaggerated estimates of the situation; but in 
that moment of agitation and excitement I dare say a hundred sillier 
things were said and ag'reed to. Anyhow, there he stood — that usually 
cold, undemonstrative, intellectual, white-headed, red faced, vener- 
able-looking arch-conspirator! shouting himself hoarse, like the ring- 
leader of schoolboys at a successful barring-out, and amply repaid at 
that moment for all Sky-terrier witticisms and any amount of popu- 
lar obloquy! But see, the Chancellor of the Exchequer lifts up his 
hand to bespeak silence, as if he had something to say in regard to the 
result of the division. But the more the great orator lifts his hand 
beseechingly, the more the cheers are renewed and the hats waved. 
At length the noise comes to an end by the process of exhaustion, and 
the Chancellor of the Exchequer rises. Then there is a universal 
hush, and you might hear a pin drop. He simply says, "Sir, I pro- 
pose to fix the committee for Monday, and I will then state the order 
of business." It was twilight, brightening into day, when we got 
out into the welcome fresh air of New Palace Yard. Early as was the 
hour, about three hundred persons were assembled to see the mem- 
bers come out, and to cheer the friends of the bill. It was a night to 
be long remembered. The House of Commons had listened to the 
grandest oration ever yet delivered by the greatest orator of his age; 



198 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

and had then to ask itself how it happened that the Liberal party had 
been disunited, and a Liberal majority of sixty 'muddled away.' " 

On the third reading of the Bill, the Government were 
]) laced in a minority of 11. The numbers being for the 
Amendment, 315; against, 304. 

The Opposition had at length succeeded in their hostility 
to Reform and to the Ministry. On the following day, the 
li)th of June, Earl Russell in the Lords and Mr. Gladstone 
i i the Commons, announced that, in consequence of their 
late defeat, the Government had felt it their duty to make 
a communication to her Majesty. On the 26th fuller ex- 
planations were furnished in both Houses. In the Lords, 
Earl Russell stated that Ministers had tendered their resig- 
nations, to which they had adhered, notwithstanding an ap- 
p3al from the Queen to reconsider their determination. In 
the House of Commons, Mr. Gladstone defended the Gov- 
ernment for their resolve to stand or fall by the bill, and 
explained at length the circumstances which led to that dec- 
laration. Such a pledge, he admitted, was one which a 
Government should rarely give. 

' i It was the last weapon in the armory of the Govern- 
ment; it should not be lightly taken down from the walls; 
and if it is taken down, it should not be lightly replaced; 
nor till it has served the purposes it was meant to fulfill. 
The pledge had been given, however, under the deepest con- 
viction of public duty, and had the effect of making them 
use every effort in their power to avoid offence, to conciliate, 
su} pjrt, and unite, instead of distracting." 




Mr. Gladstone Delivering His Maiden Speech in Parliament. 




The Sunday Orator of Hyde Park. 



CHAPTER XIX. 

HUMORS OF THE OLD ELECTION DAYS. 

Dost thou think because thou art virtuous there shall be no more 
cakes and ale ? Yes, by Saint Anne, and ginger shall be hot in the 
mouth, too —Shakespeare. 

The rabble all alive 
From tippling- benches, cellars, stalls and sties, 
Swarm in the streets. — William Cowper. 

They praise and they admire, they know not what, 
And know not whom, but as one leads the other ; 
And what delight to be by such extoll'd, 
To live upon their tongues, and be their talk, 
Of whom to be dispraised, were no small praise. 

—John Milton. 

This is a chapter of personal reminiscences. In the old days 
of i i long ago, " when riding in steam cars was somewhat of an 
experiment ; when devout souls thought it was running 
against providence to ride in coaches driven without horses 
at the awful rate of twenty miles an hour ; when the tele- 
graph was but a dream, and the weekly newspaper was so 
expensive, by reason of the absurd and iniquitous stamp 
duty, that poor folks formed clubs of five or six in order 
that they might knoAV what was going on " in Lunnon and 
other parts," it will be easily understood that in these 
dreary, quiet times, any circumstance out of the common 
o xler of things, such as a balloon ascension, or a very small 
circus, was heartily welcome. The smallest of these things 
was big enough to break the monotony of life, and stir the 
sluggish souls of young and old. The annual election of 
Mayor, Aldermen and town Councilors was quite a blessing. 
But a general election of members to serve her gracious 
Majesty in the Commons House of Parliament was a god- 

19J 



200 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

send ! Old political soldiers who had fought in former 
years, but had never been rich enough to vote, told of the 
stormy scenes of the old Reform Bill of 1832. They talked 
of " Billy Pitt" and " Little Lord John " as though they 
had been next-door neighbors. But in the days of which I 
speak the older men were mostly given up to memories and 
reminiscences ; the younger men were full of fight, and they 
had sufficient cause to be. The Reform Bill of Lord John 
Russell had given a <£10-householder a vote. The man who 
paid the §50 a year rent, apart altogether from the innu- 
merable taxes — highway tax, poor-law tax, etc., etc. — that 
formed a perfect chatelaine about the girdle of rent that 
bound him, was entitled to a vote, but a man might be in all 
respects the equal, or even the superior of the "Ten 
•Pounder," he might even live in a better house, but if he 
only paid $49.99 he could not vote. It was the money that 
did the voting, not the man. The odd cent made all the 
difference. 

Apostles of human rights — such men as Thomas Watson, 
Henry Hethrington, Thomas Cooper, Henry Vincent among 
the poor, and such men as John Bright, Joseph Sturge, 
Earnest Jones and others among the well-to-do classes — 
found the time ripe for the promulgation of their doctrines, 
and a general election was just the grandest of all occasions ; 
a sort of political Pentecost, when men with hearts in ear- 
nest and tongues aflame, made the most of their opportunities 
of unfettered speech. The dissolution of Parliament was 
the sure and certain sign that there would be real earnest 
work, beautiful fighting, and merry times all over England 
for the space of six weeks. Her Majesty issued writs for 
a new Parliament, her faithful and loving subjects were 
enjoined to elect their representatives, and they were 
charged to be in their places in six weeks from the date of 
the writs, when the gentlemanly usher of the black rod 
would ring the bell and business would begin. 



HUMORS OF THE OLD ELECTION DAYS. 201 

At the dissolution of Parliament the Queen read a speech, 
which was always very formal and empty, indicating cer- 
tain things that everybody knew, expressing royal gratitude 
to both Houses of Parliament, and then as in duty bound, 
the Queen committed her lords and commons and the people 
at large to the care of Almighty God. All this was exceed- 
ingly well done. Long before the end of the six weeks' 
conflict it was painfully manifest that the lords and com- 
mons, the electors and the non-electors, and the country at 
large were all very much in need of divine guidance. The 
most appropriate prayers for those times would have been 
" prayers for those that are at sea." 

No sooner was the dissolution of Parliament announced, 
than there was a great desire to get a copy of the Queen's 
speech. There was not an evening paper in the whole wide 
world in these days. Enterprising printers printed the 
speech and soon the ancestors of our newsboys made the 
streets echo with their cries: " Queen's speech ! Parliament 
'solved ! Queen's speech ! Only a penny !" 

The Queen's speech had nothing in it to form a text for 
political oratory, but — as we shall see in a little while — the 
emptiness of the speech gave the Radical orator themes 
enough and to spare. 

Members of Parliament are not paid a salary, nor are 
their traveling expenses covered. They would consider it 
beneath their dignity to accept a cent for their services. 
The old school English Tory would deplore exceedingly the 
coming of the time when members of Parliament should be 
paid for their services, or the hard and fast ' < property 
qualifications " should be repealed. 

In these old days, now under consideration, there were 
not a few " pocket boroughs," that is, constituencies in 
which some noble lord or immense landowner had what was 
called " paramount influence." He could really send who- 
ever he liked to Parliament. He could send his own butler, 



202 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

if he chose. And it would have been a good thing if he had 
done so sometimes, instead of sending such men as some- 
times crept through this subterranean way into the stately 
halls of St. Stephen's. Taking him all in all, however, the 
English M. P. was fairly representative, and if England 
owes nothing else to her worthy Commoners, she owes them 
this at least : they have saved her from her Lords many a 
time; and it may be that the day is not far distant when the 
redemption will be complete, and the House of Lords will 
be devoted to some useful purpose. 

During the six weeks of a general election the gentleman 
who has been M. P. and wants to be M. P. again must put 
his dignity in his pocket, for this is the time when the cos- 
ter-monger and the cabman, ' ' the brewer, the baker, and 
the candlestick maker " will feel called upon to put him 
through his facings. He will be asked all sorts of ques- 
tions, reasonable and unreasonable, especially unreasonable. 
Smart men, just for the fun of it, will try to draw from him 
the most absurd and foolish pledges. And woe betide the 
M. P. who weary of such badgering should remind his tor- 
menters of the dignity of his position. 

A somewhat short-tempered candidate who had repre- 
sented the borough before grew tired of this badgering, 
and said to the noisy nonelectors : 

"My good fellows, do you know who I am? I am the 
Representative of the people ! " 

"Oh, you be blowed !" answered the ruds and noisy 
enthusiast. "Aint'we the people themselves? Ain't we 
a sending of yer? And don't you think we're bloomin' 
kind?' 1 

But the day of nomination was the greatest day of all in 
an English election till our later civilization came along and 
took all the fun out of the fair and made an election as 
serious and uneventful as a third-class funeral. In the old, 
merry times a temporary covered platform called "The 



HUMORS OF THE OLD ELECTION DAYS. 203 

Hustings" was erected, and on the given day the Mayor, 
with his stately robes on, and the golden civic chain around 
his neck, would march in grand procession to the hustings, 
accompanied by other civic dignitaries, and there, in the 
presence of an enormous crowd, would show the writ and 
announce that in loyal obedience to the command of her 
gracious Majesty that he had called together the electors of 
this ancient loyal borough to elect two fit and proper per- 
sons to represent this borough in the Commons House of 
Parliament. 

Then, with a hearty k ' God Save the Queen," the business 
would begin. According to arrangement the Tories would 
propose and second their candidate in a brief way ; then the 
Liberals or Kadicals would propose their man. The Mayor 
would call for a show of hands on the part of the electors 
only. The mayor would usually decide against his own 
party, by which method he would be sure to win a little glory 
as "a high-minded, impartial, incorruptible public officer. " 
A " poll" would be demanded by some representative of the 
supposed minority, all of which the high-minded, incor- 
ruptible Mayor would arrange for, and so with another 
hearty "God Save the Queen" the battle of the election 
would begin. Then the walls of the city would be covered 
with squibs and cartoons. Each candidate would issue his 
address, which would form the text for commendation or 
attack for friends and enemies alike. Then for five or six 
weeks life would be well worth living, no matter how poor 
you were. The weak points, the foibles, the peculiarities of 
the candidates would afford topics for boundless amusement. 
But it is fair to say that the vulgar, brutal vivisection of 
private life that mars too many of our conflicts, did not 
enter into these old election fights. Full to the brim with 
humor, but free from vicious and bitter slander, they 
were straightforward, manly fights. Around the hustings 
the battle waged hot and fierce. The rude hustings became 



204 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

a grand arena. Remember these were the days of the $50- 
voter. The nonelectors were largely in excess of the 
electors, and they were growing to be a power. They 
would be heard, and there were many of them well worth 
hearing. These nonelectors made very lively times for the 
candidates when they came to deliver addresses. They would 
give a man a name that would abide with him forever ! One 
candidate I well remember, who was thin enough for exhibi- 
tion at a dime museum, came before the " electors and 
nonelectors"; his name was Richardson. He was one of the 
thinnest men I ever saw. A merry wag in the crowd hailed 
him as "Fat Dick ! " The name was so supremely absurd 
that it stuck to him. And if ever you go to the town of 
Never-mind-what, in the north of England, and ask for Mr. 
Richardson, you will meet with the response : "That means 
'Fat Dick' for sure ! " 

I remember one of his speeches in which he was explain- 
ing the reasons that had led him to sever his association 
with the old Radical party and join the Tories. Just in the 
midst of his speech, which was really a very able one, a man 
was hoisted on the shoulders of the crowd, who immediately 
proceeded to pull off his coat, and turning it inside out, 
struggled to get it on again. The crowd was uproarious. 
But " Fat Dick" was equal to the occasion. " Am I to 
understand," said Candidate Richardson, " that I have 
turned my coat ? Is that your chief objection ? Well, 
what is an honest man to do when he finds he has his coat 
on wrong side but turn it ? And I want to say to my Radi- 
cal friends, who seem to deplore my loss so much, that if I 
had continued in their ranks much longer I shouldn't have 
hid a coat to wear or turn." This retort caught the crowd, 
and "Rah for Fat Dick ! " rent the air. 

Not infrequently the candidate who was not much of a 
speaker — though in all other respects just the man to make 
a most valuable member of Parliaments — would content 



HUMORS OF THE OLD ELECTION DAYS. 205 

himself with going over the ground of his published address, 
and then, making a genial bow, would most unwisely under- 
take to answer any questions that electors or nonelectors 
might choose to ask. 

The man who undertakes to answer any questions that 
may be asked is not wise. It is so easy to ask difficult, not 
to say foolish, questions. 

Many and many a time have I seen a political gathering 
given over to the wildest and most ungovernable merriment 
by some foolish question, presented with no reason on earth 
but to create fun and to embarrass the candidate. Here are 
a handful of sample questions, some of which were capable 
of a direct, simple answer, but others could only be answered 
in a qualified manner, and whenever these qualifications were 
introduced the trouble began. The questioner always wanted 
"a simple, straightforward answer." This is the way the 
poor candidate was badgered : 

"If we send you to Parliament will you vote for the abo- 
lition of the House of Lords ? 

"Will you move that the civil list be revised or sus- 
pended ? 

" Will you vote for the disestablishment and disendow- 
ment of the Established Church? 

i < Will you vote for universal suffrage ? 

' < Will you vote for the abolition of the property qualifi- 
cation clause ? 

"Will you always vote against the declaration of war 
whatever be the provocation ? 

"Will you vote that a man may marry deceased wife's 
sister ? 

' ' Will you vote that the railroads shall become national 
property ? 

"Will you vote for the May worth grant ? 

"Will you vote for the repeal of the income tax ? 

"Will you vote for the repeal of capital punishment? " 



206 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

So the questioning would go on. The only chance for 
the candidate was to answer "yes" or "no," wherever he 
had a chance. If he wavered he was lost. There was 
always some fellow handy with a foolish question. I remem- 
ber a smart Alec, named Reuben Finn, who could always be 
relied upon to upset a meeting. He had a question: 

"Mr. Candidate," said Reuben, "I have a plain, simple 
question to ask. A question that is capable of the simplest, 
shortest answer. And I don't want you to go beating about 
the bush. I want just a plain, unmistakable 'yes' or 'no.'' 

" All right, " said the candidate, "go ahead with your 
question." 

"Well, then," said Reuben, "Will you lend me a sov- 
ereign ?" 

The laughter that followed his question was long and loud, 
but the answer so completely crushed Reuben Finn that it 
was a long time before he asked any more questions. 

" Lend you a sovereign ! " said the candidate, "I'll give 
you a sovereign if you can find a bigger fool than yourself 
in twenty four hours* and I'll lend you a lantern to hunt 
him up." 

Sometimes nonconformist clergymen would enter the 
arena, and they were generally powerful allies. They were 
earnest and eloquent, and sure of a large following. But 
sometimes they were terribly roasted by the other side. 
One case comes to my memory. It was in the good old 
town of Leicester. The Rev. J. P. Mursell, the successor 
of Robert Hall, was a man of wonderful ability; a man of 
grand appearance, with a crown of snowy hair, and a large 
and prominent nose. He was at a great political meeting 
in the opera house, and in denouncing the retrograde action 
of certain wealthy hosiery manufacturers, who had grown 
conservative as they had grown rich, told an anecdote of 
Robert Hall, who on being importuned to marry a certain 
ancient ladv, said he would rather "marry Beelzebub's 



HUMORS OF THE OLD ELECTION DAYS. 207 

eldest daughter, and go live with the old folks." Mr. 
Mursell applied the anecdote and turned up his nose very 
manifestly at the Tory hosiers. Immediately the following 
jingle was heard sung in the streets of Leicester : 

There is a parson of small renown, 
Lives on the New Walk in Leicester Town ; 
Whose hair has grown gray all over his head 
Screams aloud for Beelzebub's daughter ! 

From his peaceful home to the play-house he goes, 
And insults amongst others manufacturers of hose, 
And at them in spite turns up his great nose, 
And then screams for Beelzebub's daughter. 

In a few days the walls of Leicester were placarded with 
large bills of which the following is a copy : 

LECTURE ON NOSES!!! 

The Rev. J. P. Mursell, 

Having just returned from the Promontory of Noses, 

will deliver a series of lectures in 

BELVOIR STREET CHAPEL 

in the following order : 

Lecture 1. The Roman Nose. 

Lecture 2. The Pug Nose. 

Lecture 3. The Impudent Nose. 

ILLUSTRATED BY HIS OWN. 

Reserved seats free to Hosiery Manufacturers. 

As I have said, the hustings during these six weeks was 
the arena of a great deal of local oratory. I remember a 
young Radical who could always gather immense crowds. 
He was an iconoclast pure and simple and oh how he loved 
to talk ! 

u Look here mates," he would say, "there's some things 
you can reform, and there's others you can only reform by 
reforming them off the face of the earth ! Now look at 
me. I'm not such a bad sort of a chap, am I ? I tries 



208 LIFE OF GLADSTONE- 

hard to do fair and square, but I can't vote. 'Cos why ? 
Why it's all a question of money. There's a fellow lives in 
our street ; a drunken, lazy sot, as wallops his wife and 
lambs his kids, but he can vote. 'Cos why ? He's got 
money ; that's why. I pays three and ninepence a week 
rent, but I can't vote ! He pays four shillings a week and 
he can vote and does vote ! But it ain't the man as votes, 
it's the bloomin' thruppence ! Look at the Queen and the 
Royal family ! I should like to know what good they are 
to the country. They are just a set of royal paupers, that's 
wot they are. Mind you, I don't say but w T ot Prince 
Albert is a likely kind o' cove, and if he had his way things 
would be different. But, Lord love you, all the big bugs 
is down on him. 'Cos why ? 'Cause he has a good word to 
say for the workingman, that's why ! Look at them lazy 
fossils in the House o' Lords. Nothing will ever wake 'em 
up unless somebody yells 'Church in danger,' or 'House 
afire ! ' and then they'll march in double quick time ! I tell 
you mates it's time that House was to somebody as has 
something to do. And then there's the blessed Church, 
established by law and fed at the public expense ! I ain't 
got nothing particular against the Church, but I think if a 
man wants either pigs or parsons he should feed them, and 
not ask the State to do it. But it's no use talking. Half 
measures won't do! And wot I say is, Down with the 
Royal family! Down with the House of Lords! Down 
with the Established Church! Down with everything!" 

Since 1832, few of those scenes of violence, and even of 
bloodshed, which formerly distinguished Parliamentary 
elections in many English boroughs, have been witnessed. 
Some of these lawless outbreaks w T ere doubtless due to the 
unpopularity of the candidates forced upon the electors ; 
but even in the larger towns — where territorial influence 
had little sway — riots occurred upon which we look back 
now in almost doubtful amazement. Men holding strong 



HUMORS OF THE OLD ELECTION DAYS. 209 

political views have ceased to enforce those views by the 
aid of brickbats and other dangerous missiles. Yet at the 
beginning of the present century such arguments were very 
popular. And to the violence which prevailed was added 
the most unblushing bribery. Several boroughs long 
notorious for extensive bribery have since been disfran- 
chised. The practice, however, extended to most towns in 
the kingdom, though it was not always carried on in the 
same open manner. By a long-established custom, a voter 
at Hull received a donation of $10.00 or $20.00 for a 
plumper. In Liverpool men were openly paid for their 
votes; and Lord Cochrane stated in the House of Commons 
that, after his return to Honiton, he sent the town-crier 
round the borough to tell the voters to go to the chief 
banker for $50.00 each. 




/v^ ^ >*-. 



CHAPTER XX. 

DISESTABLISHMENT AND DISENDOWMENT OF THE IRISH CHURCH. 

It is held 
That valor is the chiefest virtue, and 
Most dignifies the haver; if it be, 
The man I speak of cannot in the world 
Be singly counterpoised. — Shakespeare. 

If a man stands for the right and the truth, though every man's 
finger be pointed at him, though every woman's lip be curled at him 
in scorn, he stands in a majority; for God and good angels are with 
him, and greater are they that are for him thau all that can be against 
him — John D Oough. 

We offer our readers another reminiscent chapter. When 
Mr. Gladstone rose in the British House of Commons Mon- 
day afternoon, Feb. 13, 1886, to present bis home rule for 
Ireland bill many called to mind his first great light for 
•eligious equality for Ireland more than twenty years ago. 
It may be pleasant to men of this younger generation to be 
told how that battle for the disestablishment and disendow- 
rnent of the Irish Church was fought and won 

The condition of affairs may be very briefly told. The 

population of Ireland in 1867 was about six millions. Of 

these six millions four and a half millions belonged to the 

Roman Catholic Church. Half a million only belonged to 

the Protestant Episcopal Church, another half million owed 

allegiance to the Presbyterian Church. The census never 

gave the Irish Church, even from the Episcopal authorities. 

more than seven hundred thousand. This church of the 

minority arrogating to itself the title of "The Irish Church," 

an 



212 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

or "The Church of Ireland," had always manifested the 
warmest sympathy with the oppressors of Ireland, and was 
spending public money in an unjust and unprofitable manner. 
This church was absorbing in annual salaries sums amount- 
ing to three and a half to four millions of dollars derived 
from National property amounting to from sixty-five to 
seventy millions of dollars. Much of this money was wasted 
in the employment of three or four times as many rectors 
and curates as the church could possibly have use for. Yet 
all the while Ireland was in the depths of poverty, famine- 
threatened, or famine-smitten from year to year. 

To change all this, to bring in the reign of religious 
equality, to place all the churches in Ireland on an equal 
footing, such as they are in this free land, and to apply 
these vast funds that were being so shamefully misused to 
alleviate the sorrows of the maimed and the halt and the 
blind, and to such as suffered from the sadder lot of mental 
weakness, these were the grand purposes Mr. Gladstone set 
his hand and his heart to, in his first great battle on behalf 
of Ireland. 

I am thinking how that great battle was fought and won 
more than twenty years ago. I am not concerned to discuss 
at length the merits of this Irish Church measure, nor am I 
disposed to underestimate the sincerity of those who really 
thought Mr. Gladstone was endangering the cause of true 
religion. I am persuaded that Mr. Gladstone was not him- 
self more sincere than many of bis opponents. Born and 
trained a nonconformist of nonconformists all my sympa- 
thies, if not my prejudices, ran in favor of disestablishment. 
Twenty years and more of happy observation of religious 
equality beneath the Stars and Stripes have only served to 
deepen my conviction that Count Cavour's dream for Italy 
of "A Free Church in a free State," is a very good dream 
for all lands. 



DISESTABLISHMENT OF THE IRISH CHURCH. 213 

I am looking back over the stretch of twenty years. I 
am calling to mind the grandeur of the battle, of the calm, 
fixed enthusiasm of Mr. Gladstone, whose personal influ- 
ence on his followers was largely the secret of the steadfast 
valor of the conflict and the dignity of its final triumph. 

From the very outset this battle for religious equality 
was elevated to the dignity of a conflict. The battle for 
Reform had often fallen very near the gutter. On both 
sides of this religious warfare men were in dead earnest. 
Mr. Gladstone had scarcely laid his Bill on the table of the 
House of Commons before the floodgates of abuse were 
thrown wide open. It was, of course, the easiest thing in 
the world to charge Mr. Gladstone with treachery to his 
earliest and deepest convictions, he, the old-time defender 
of church establishments. He was a "turncoat," a 
" traitor," a " renegade," and everything else of the kind. 

Then uprose the Rt. Hon. Benjamin Disraeli, the cham- 
pion of the church, and I sometimes think ancient Rome 
never saw gladiators more thoroughly matched than Glad- 
stone and Disraeli. It was worth while living in those days 
to see these masters of debate in action. Mr. Disraeli was 
too wise to make any capital out of the change-of-mind 
argument. He knew the value of a good cry, and so he 
started the memorable cry, "Church in Danger!" He 
saw the sacred fabric of the time-honored Church tottering 
to its fall. He saw angels in tears over the desecration, and 
declared himself on the side of the angels. All other points 
of view were lost sight of in this scare-crow terror of peril 
to the Church. The ark of God was in danger \ And Dis- 
raeli came to the rescue ! 

Punches picture of the subtle Disraeli soaring heaven- 
ward with angel's wings and a wreath of immortal glory 
about his brows, while there was a smirk of satire and 
scorn on his lips, will be remembered by every man who 
had a share in. this memorable fight. While Mr. Disraeli 



214: LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

was shedding mock tears over the downfall of Zion, his 
followers were enjoying themselves in belaboring Mr. 
Gladstone. 

The Church and Tory papers supplied Mr. Gladstone 
with a good deal of information. He was "in league with 
infidelity," " an atheist at heart, " " a sacriligious robber," 
"a spoliator of the temple of God," he was the " man of 
sin," the "Anti-Christ" foretold in the "Book of Revela- 
tion." He had "the mark of the beast," and "the horns 
of the evil one " protruding from his wicked brow. So hot 
and fierce was the conflict that I have seen Mr. Gladstone 
hung in effigy and burned in more than two or three of the 
quiet village church-yards in the North of England. 

Nothing impresses me more as I look back than Mr. 
Gladstone's perfect indifference to this whole tirade of abuse. 
I sometimes wonder if he knew half that was written or 
said. He did not treat calumny with scorn, he was so 
absorbed in his mission that he lived above it. I am think- 
ing, too, of his brief visits to our committee-rooms during 
that grand Lancashire campaign, that campaign in which 
he delivered speeches which belong to the noblest classics of 
religious freedom, Mr. Gladstone would crowd his advice 
into the briefest phrases. " Educate the people ! Educate 
the people ! Only enlightened constituencies vote wisely ! n 
And when some fussy committeeman would ask : ' ' What 
shall we say when asked about the forthcoming Land Bill 
and the Education Bill?" Mr. Gladstone would answer with 
manifest impatience : "Tell your friends that it is impossi- 
ble to redress the wrongs of seven centuries in one session 
of Parliament." 

Mr. Stead has spoken of Mr. Gladstone as having a 
" Quixotic conscience." I am sure that he impressed that 
aspect of his character on his followers. And by his fol- 
lowers, I am not speaking of his followers in the House of 
Commons, but the rank and file of the Liberal party, among 



DISESTABLISHMENT OF THE IRISH CHURCH. 215 

the sturdy workmen and middle class of the North of Eng- 
land — followers by thousands, who believed in the perfect 
integrity, the political sagacity and the incorruptible honor 
of the man who was then "the People's William," not yet 
"the Grand Old Man." 

Of course there was humor as well as earnestness in this 
campaign. Soldiers in that war for religious equality will 
remember Tom Grimshaw's logic. Tom Grimshaw was a 
Bolton man with a clear head and a witty tongue, rough of 
speech, but very earnest in purpose. He reduced the whole 
Irish Church question to a single sentence. There were 
5,000 people in Bolton Market place, a large wagon served 
as a platform. I had labored somewhat painfully with a 
most indulgent audience for the space of half an hour. I 
had tried to argue for the voluntary maintenance of the 
churches of every name. Then came Tom Grimshaw, as 
burly as Longfellow's blacksmith, and this is what he said: 

"Meno' Bowton, there's a sight too much talk. The 
whole business lies e' a nutshell. Some folks likes pigs, 
and some folks likes parsons ! What I say is, let them as 
likes pigs and parsons feed 'em ! " This brief settlement of 
the Irish Church question was afterward known as ' i Grim- 
shaw's logic." 

No story of this great battle would be complete that lost 
sight of the hard fighting that took place between Mr. 
Disraeli and John Bright. Mr. Disraeli recognized in Mr. 
Bright a f oeman worthy of his steel. No man in the House 
of Commons had more respect for an able and honorable 
antagonist than the then leader of her Majesty's opposition. 
As the conflict deepened these doughty warriors measured 
swords. The question of the appropriation of the vast sur- 
plus had especial charms for Mr. Bright, and in answering 
Mr. Disraeli he had opportunity to deal with this matter, 
and he dealt with it in words that deserve to be held in long 
and proud remembrance. Mr. Disraeli had been contend- 



2l(j LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

ing that this church of the minority, this church that had 
assumed to regard itself as "The" Church of Ireland, this 
venerable establishment that had always been the protector of 
freedom of religion and of toleration ; and that therefore, 
being on the side of the angels, he was on the side of the 
establishment. Mr. Bright denied that the establishment 
had been the protector of freedom, or religion, or toler- 
ation, and in his own quiet, incisive manner remarked that 
his right honorable friend seemed to read a different history 
from anybody else, or possibly he made his own history, 
and, like Voltaire, made it better without facts than with 
them. This, of course, brought down the House. All 
along the ranks of the Liberal party the laughter was long 
and loud. 

" And even the ranks of Tuscany 
Could scarce forbear to cheer." 

But in all that grand battle for religious equality in 
Ireland there was hardly a more brilliant passage than the 
closing sentences of John Bright's speech on the uses to be 
made of the surplus that would surely follow disendowment. 
u Do you think," he said, " it will be a misappropriation of 
the surplus funds of this great establishment to apply them 
to some objects such as those described in this bill ? Do 
you not think that from the charitable dealing with these 
matters even a sweeter incense may arise than when these 
vast funds were applied to maintain three times the number 
of clergy that can be of the slightest use to the church w T ith 
which they are connected ? We can do but little, it is true. 
We can not relume the extinguished lamp of reason. We 
can not make the deaf to hear. We can not make the dumb 
to speak. It is not given to us : 

From the thick film to purge the visual ray, 
And on the sightless eyeballs pour the day. 

"But at least we can lessen the load of affliction, and we 
can make life more tolerable to vast numbers who are now 



DISESTABLISHMENT OF THE IRISH CHURCH. 217 

suffering. I see this measure giving tranquility to our 
people, greater strength to the realm, and adding a new 
lustre and a new dignity to the crown. I dare claim for 
this bill the support of all good and thoughtful people within 
the bounds of the British Empire, and I can not doubt that, 
in its early and great results, it will have the blessing of the 
Supreme, for I believe it to be founded on those principles 
of justice and mercy which are the glorious attributes of 
His eternal reign." 

No other man could have spoken with such effect. Other 
men might have been just as eloquent, but behind this 
eloquence stood the man, whose character and career gave 
to his simplest utterances the moral force that made his 
words almost irresistible. 

Mr. Gladstone fired the first shot of this great battle for 
Ecclesiastical Equality on the 1st of March, 1869. His 
speech, in introducing his Bill for the Disestablishment and 
Disendowment of the Irish Church, lasted three hours, and 
his bitterest opponent, Benjamin Disraeli, said there was not 
a redundant word in it. Always a master of finance Mr. 
Gladstone nowhere, except perhaps in some of his famous 
budgets, revealed his complete mastery of that intricate 
science more effectively than in his wonderful manipulation 
of those vast sums involved in the disendowment of the 
Irish Church. After meeting generously all possible claims, 
the question of the distribution of the surplus became of 
grave importance. We rest on the authority of Mr. G. 
Barnett Smith for the statement of Mr. Gladstone's scheme 
of distribution. 

The tithe rent charge would yield $45,000,000; lands and 
perpetuity rents, $31,250,000; money, $3,750,000— total, 
$80,000,000; the present value of the property of the Irish 
Church. Of this, the bill would dispose of $43,250,000, 
viz., vested interests of incumbents, $24,500,000; curates, 
$4,000,000; lay compensation, $4,500,000; private endow- 



218 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

ments, $2,500,000; building charges, $1,250,000; commu- 
tation of the Maynooth Grant and the Regvwm Donum, 
$5,500,000, and expenses of the commission, $1,000,000. 

Consequently, there would remain a surplus of between 
$35,000,000 and $40,000,000; and the question arose, said 
the Premier, amid considerable excitement, "What shall we 
do with it ? '' He held it to be indispensable, under the cir- 
cumstances, that the purposes to which the surplus would be 
applied should be Irish. Further, they should not be relig- 
ious, although they must be final, and open the door to no 
new controversy. After discussing various suggestions, 
some of which he dismissed as impossible, and others as 
radically wrong, the speaker announced, quoting the pre- 
amble of the bill, that the Government had concluded to 
apply the surplus to the relief of unavoidable calamities and 
suffering, not provided for by the Poor Law. The sum of 
$925,000 would be allocated for lunatic asylums; $100,000 
a year would be awarded to idiot asylums; $115,000 to 
training schools for the deaf, dumb and blind; $75,000 for 
the training of nurses; $50,000 for reformatories, and 
$225,000 to county infirmaries — in all $1,555,000 a year. 
Mr. Gladstone claimed that by the provision of all these 
requirements they would be able to combine very great re- 
forms; and they would also be in a better condition for in- 
viting the Irish landlord to accede to a change in the county- 
cess, as they were able to offer by this plan a considerable 
diminution in its burden. The plan for disposing of the 
residue he believed to be a good and solid plan, full of pub- 
lic advantage. After touching upon possible errors in his 
statement, and announcing that he should be happy to wel- 
come suggestions from any quarter, Mr. Qladstone referred 
to the great transition which the Government were asking 
the clergymen of the Church of Ireland to undergo, and to 
the privileges which the laity were called upon to debate. 
He concluded with the following glowing peroration : 



DISESTABLISHMENT OF THE IRISH CHURCH. 219 

"I do not kDow in what country so great a change, so great a 
transition has been proposed for the ministers of a religious com- 
munion, who have enjoyed for many ages the preferred position of au 
Established Church. I can well understand that to many in the Irish 
Establishment such a change app- ars to be nothing less than ruin 
and destruction. From the height on which they now stand the future 
is to them an abyss, and their fears recall the words used in King 
Lear, when Edgar endeavors to persuade Gloster that he has fallen 
over the cliffs of Dover, and says: 

Ten masts at each, make not the altitude 
Which thou has perpendicularly fallen. 
Thy life's a miracle ! 
And yet but a little while after the old man is relieved from his de- 
lusion, and finds that he has not fallen at all. So I trust that when, 
instead of the fictitious and adventitious aid on which we have too 
long taught the Irish Establishment to lean, it should come to place 
its trust in its own resources, in its own great mission, in all th :t it 
can draw from the energy of its ministers and its members, and the 
high hopes and promises of the gospel that it te ches, it will find that 
it has entered upon a new era of existence — an era bright with hope 
and potent for good. At any rate, I think the day has certainly 
come when an end is finally to be put to that union, not between the 
Church and religious association, but between the Establishment and 
the State, which was commenced under circumstances little auspicious, 
and has endured to be a source of unhappiness to Ireland, and of dis- 
credit and scandal to England. There is more to say. This measure 
is in every sense a great measure — great in its principles, great in the 
multitude of its dry, technical, but interesting detail, and great as a 
testing measure; for it will show for one and all of us of what metal 
v e are made. Upon us all it brings a great l esponsibility — great and 
foremost upon those who occupy this bench. We are especially 
chargable, nay, deeply guilty, if we have either dishonestly, as some 
think, or even prematurely or unwisely challenged so gigantic an 
issue. I know well the punishments that follow rashness in public 
affairs, and that ought to fall upon th<>se men, those Phaetons of poli- 
tics, who, with hands unequal to the task, attempt to guide the 
chariot of the sun. But the responsibility, though heavy, does not 
exclusively press upon us; it presses upon every man who has to take 
part in the dis'ussion and decision upon this bill. Every man ap- 
proaches the discussion under the most solemn obligations to raise 
the level of his vision and expand its scope in proportion with the 
greatness of the matter in hand. The working of our constitutional 
government itself is upon its trial, for I do not believe there ever was 
a time when the wheels of legislative machinery were set in motion 
under conditions of peace and order and constitutional regularity to 



220 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

deal with a question greater or more profound. And more especially, 
sir, is the credit and fame of this great Assembly involved; this As- 
sembly, which has inherited through many ages the accumulated 
honors of brilliant triumphs, of peaceful but courageous legislation, 
is now called upon to address itself to a task which would, indeed, 
have demanded all the best energies of the very best among your 
fathers and your ancestors. I believe it will prove to be worthy of 
the task. Should it fail, even the fame of the House of Commons will 
suffer disparagement; should it succeed, even that fame, I venture to 
say, will receive no small, no insensible addition. I must not ask 
gentlemen opposite to concur in this view, emboldened as I am by the 
kindness they have shown me in listening with patience to a state- 
ment which could not have been other than tedious; but I pray them 
to bear with me for a moment while, for myself and my colleagues, I 
say we are sanguine of the issue. We believe, and for my part I am 
deeply convinced, that when the final consummation shall arrive, and 
when the words are spoken that shall give the force of law to the 
work embodied in this measure — the work of peace and justice — those 
words will be echoed upon every shore where the name of Ireland or 
the name of Great Britain has been heard, and the answer to them 
will come back in the approving verdict of civilized mankind." 

Commenting on this great speech the Daily Telegraph, 
then under the guiding hand of Edwin Arnold, says : 

"The night was a night never to be forgotten. We shall not 
hesitate to say that Mr. Gladstone never before, amidst all the tri- 
umphs that mark his long course of honor and success, displayed 
more vigorous grasp of his subject, more luminous clearness in its 
development, earnestness more lofty, or eloquence more appropriate 
and refined, than in the memorable deliverance of last evening. Less 
than the most complete mastery of the complex scheme, from its 
mightiest principle to its minutest item, would have brought down 
that remarkable exhibition of intellect from the high level of an histori- 
cal oration to a cold and weary evolution of clauses and calculations. 
But with that consummate skill which in old days made a fine art of 
finance, and taught us all the romance of the revenue, Mr. Gladstone 
made his statistics ornamental, and deftly wove the stiffest strings 
of figures into the web of his exposition. Scarcely even so much as 
glancing at his notes, he advanced with an oratorical step, which 
positively never once faltered from exordium to peroration of his 
amazing task; omitting nothing, slurring nothing, confusing nothing; 
but pouring from his prodigious faculty of thought, memory, and 
speech an explanation so lucid that none of all the many points 
which he made was obscure to any of his listeners when he had fin- 
ished. And, charged as the speech necessarily was with hard and 






DISESTABLISHMENT OF THE IRISH CHURCH. 22J 

stern matter of fact and figure, the intense earnestness, the sincere 
satisfaction of the speaker, at the act of concord and justice he was 
inaugurating", gave such elasticity and play to his genius, that 
nowhere was the clause so dry or the calculation so involved, but 
some gentle phrase of respect, some high invocation of principle, 
some bright illumination of the theme from actual life, some graceful 
compliment to his hearers, lightened the passage of these mountains 
of statistics, and kept the House spell-bound by that rich and ener- 
getic voice. This phrase may seem extravagant; but though Mr. 
Gladstone has done many things of marvellous intellectual and 
oratorical force, his explosion last evening of the measure from which 
will assuredly date the pacification and happiness of Ireland, was a 
Parliamentary achievement unparalleled even by himself. 

The long debate that followed jn the introduction of the 
Bill was one of the most illustrious in the annals of the 
British House of Commons. It was manifest that the 
House and the country at large were with the great leader. 

On the motion for a second reading of the Bill the votes 
ran, for the second reading 368, against, 250 — majority 
118. Of course there was a long and bitter fight. In the 
House of Lords the conflict was waged with intense vigor. 
The Bishops especially did valiant service on behalf of the 
Church. The Bill eventually passed the Lords by 121 to 
114. Thus passed one of the most remarkable measures of 
Victoria's reign. 

A brief but glowing paragraph from Mr. Gladstone on 
the whole question will fitly close this chapter. 

1 ' The Church may have much to regret in respect to 
temporal splendor, yet the day is to come when it will be 
said of her, as of the temple of Jerusalem, 'that the glory 
of the latter house is greater than of the former;' and when 
the most loyal and faithful of her children will learn not to 
forget that at length the Parliament of England took cour- 
age, and the Irish Church was disestablished and disendowed. " 



CHAPTER XXI. 

YEARS OF WONDERFUL PROGRESS. 

Good Knight ! No soil of wrong- thy spotless shield might stain; 

Thy keen sword served thee long" and not in vain. 
Oh, high impetuous soul, that mounting to the light, 

Spurned the dull world's control to gain the right ! " 

— Lewis Morrison. 

A country is in a good and sound and healthy state when it ex- 
hibits the spirit of progress in all its institutions and in all its oper- 
ations; and when with that spirit of progress it combines the spirit 
of affectionate retrospect upon the times and the generations that 
have gone before, and the determination to husband and to turn at 
every point to the best account, all that these previous generations 
have accumulated of what is good and worthy for the benefit of us 
their children. — W. E. Gladstone. 

Mr. Gladstone's Reform Bill had been defeated, but he 
was not defeated, nor were the principles for which he so 
bravely fought to be buried in oblivion. The nation was 
thoroughly aroused. Reform demonstrations were held all 
over the country. With singular suicidal folly meetings in 
Hyde Park were prohibited. Mr. Bright in his trenchant 
manner asked: "If a public meeting in a public park is 
denied you, and if millions of intelligent and honest men are 
denied the franchise, on what foundation do our liberties 
rest, or is there in this country any liberty but the tolera- 
tion of the ruling class ? " When the police by the order of 
the government repulsed the procession that had marched 
in quiet order up to the Marble Arch, a riot ensued, the 
mob tore down the railings and entered the park. There 
was a good deal of free fighting, but no very serious dam- 
age was done. A body of Life Guards appeared upon the 

222 



YEARS OF WONDERFUL PROGRESS. 223 

scene, and the riot was quelled. Meantime an enormous 
meeting was hekj in Trafalgar Square, where resolutions 
in favor of Reform and of gratitude to Mr. Gladstone and 
Mr. Bright, were carried with the wildest enthusiasm. 
Early in August a meeting was held at Brookfield, near Bir- 
mingham, at which it was estimated that not less than 
250,000 were present. " Agitate! agitate! agitate!" 
was John Bright's advice, and with the advice came the 
assurance c 'that no Government, however strong, could long 
withstand the ascertained desire of an intelligent and de- 
termined people. " It is not necessary to enter at length 
on any discussion of that remarkable episode of English 
history in which Mr. Disraeli "educated his party," brought 
in his Reform Bill, and so, as he gracefully described it, 
"dished the Whiffs." 

Passing under the shadow of his monument in Westmin- 
ster Abbey, one may be forgiven if it should be suggested 
to the mind, that the three great things that made him 
famous were, that he made the Queen Empress of India, he 
"educated his party," and he "dished the Whigs!" On 
the 25th of February, 1868, it was announced in both 
Houses of Parliament that Lord Derby, through failing 
health, had resigned the Premiership, and that the Queen 
had entrusted Mr. Disraeli with the task of forming a new 
administration. Thus the " Asian mystery " had reached 
the highest place, and became Prime Minister of England. 
Lord Chelmsford in a merry mood said, referring to the 
two great English horse races the "Derby" and the 
"Oaks," "The old government was the Derby; this will 
be the Hoax. " 

While on the whole the Press spoke kindly and in con- 
gratulatory terms of Mr. Disraeli's accession to power, yet 
he had to bear a good deal of raillery and sarcasm. Of this 
he could hardly complain, for he had set the example of 
the merciless and unreasonable satire. One criti. ^ays: 



224 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

"There was of course but one possible Conservative Pre- 
mier, Mr. Disraeli — he who had served the Conservative 
party for more than twenty years, who had led it to victory, 
and who had long been the ruling spii it of the Cabinet. To 
have reconstructed the Ministry without Vivian Grey as its 
chief, would have been to enact in politics a well-known 
play under proverbial disadvantages." 

As Silas Wegg "dropped into poetry," so the Pall Mall 
Gazette dropped into Scripture, in the following caustic 
manner : 

"One of the most grevious and constant puzzles of King 
David was the prosperity of the wicked and the scornful ; 
and the same tremendous moral enigma has come down to 
our own days. In this respect, the earth is in its older 
times what it was in its youth. Even so recently as last 
week the riddle once more presented itself in its most 
impressive shape. Like the Psalmist, the Liberal leader 
may well protest that verily he has cleansed his heart in 
vain and washed his hands in innocency. All day long he has 
been plagued by Whig lords, and chastened every morning 
by Radical manufacturers. As blamelessly as any curate he 
has written about Ecce JTo?no, and he has never made a 
speech, even in the smallest country town, without calling 
out with David, c How foolish am I, and how ignorant !' For 
all this, what does he see ? The scorner who shot out the 
lip and shook the head at him across the table of the House 
of Commons last session, has now more than heart could 
wish; his eyes, speaking in an Oriental manner, stand out 
with fatness, he speaketh loftily, and pride compasseth him 
about as with a chain. . . . That the writer of frivol- 
ous stories about Vivian Grey and Coningsby should grasp 
the sceptre before the writer of beautiful and serious things 
about Ecce Homo — the man who is epigramatic, flashy, 
arrogant, before the man who never perpetrated an epigram 
in his life, is always fervid, and would as soon die as admit 



YEARS OF WONDERFUL PROGRESS. 225 

that he had a shade more brain than his footman — the Radi- 
cal corrupted into a Tory before the Tory purified and 
elevated into a Radical. Is not this enough to make an hon- 
est man rend his mantle, and shave his head and sit down 
among the ashes inconsolable ? Let us play the too under- 
rated part of Bildad the Shuhite for a space, while our 
chiefs thus have unwelcome leisure to scrape themselves 
with pots herts, and to meditate upon the evil way of the 
world. " 

In the election of 1868 the Liberals were successful far 
beyond their own anticipations. Mr. Gladstone was in 
southwest Lancashire. The old antagonistic forces were 
against him. Mr. Cross and Mr. Turner beat him by a 
majority of three hundred. The possibility of this defeat 
had been anticipated. The electors of Greenwich, without 
Mr. Gladstone's solicitation, put him in nomination and 
elected him, without even an address, along with Mr. 
Alderman Salomons, a pronounced Liberal. The election 
proved that the country was with Mr. Gladstone and the 
Liberal cause. In the large cities the conservatives were 
completely routed, but in the counties they held their own. 
Scotland and Ireland both gave very substantial majorities 
for the Liberals. 

Mr. Disraeli did not wait to meet the new Parliament, 
but resigned, promising, however, to fight the Disestablish- 
ment of the Irish Church. 

On the 4th of December, 1868, the Queen sent for Mr, 
Gladstone and gave him instructions to form a ministry. 
On the 9th of the month he was able to announce the first 
great Liberal cabinet: 

Prime Minister — W. E. Gladstone. 

Secretary for Foreign Affairs — Lord Clarendon. 

Secretary for the Colonies — Lord Grenville. 

Home Secretary — Mr. Bruce. 

Secretary of War — Mr. Cardwell. 



226 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

Secretary for India — Duke of Argyle. 
Lord Chancellor — Lord Hetherly. 
Lord Privy Seal — Earl Kimberley. 
First Lord of the Admiralty — Mr. Childers. * 
Lord Lieutenant of Ireland — Earl Spencer. 
Postmaster-General — Lord Hartington. 
Chancellor of the Exchequer — Mr. Robert Lowe. 
President of the Board of Trade — Mr. John Bright. 

Of the great measure of the Disestablishment and Disen- 
dowment of the Irish Church, reference has been made in a 
previous reminiscent chapter. It is remarkable to what an 
extent men who had been his sincere admirers up to that 
point, fell away from him. They could not understand the 
position he took; he, the old-time champion of the Church, 
now seeks, as they believed, its destruction. They surely 
could not have carefully considered these grand works, in 
which he so lucidly expounded and explained his position: 

"There are many who think that to lay hands upon the national 
Church Establishment of a country is a profane and unhallowed act. 
I respect that feeling". I sympathize with it. I sympathize with it 
while I think it my duty to overcome and repress it. But if it be an 
error, it is an error entitled to respect. There is something- in the 
idea of a national establishment of religion, of a solemn appropria- 
tion of a part of the Commonwealth, for conferring* upon all who are 
ready to receive it what we know to be an inestimable benefit; of sav- 
ing that portion of the inheritance from private selfishness, in order 
to extract from it, if we can, pure and unmixed advantages of the 
highest order for the population at large. There is something- in this 
so attractive that it is an image that must always command the hom- 
age of the many. It is somewhat like the kingly ghost in Hamlet, of 
which one of the characters of Shakspeare says: — 

We do it wrong-, being so majestical, 
To offer it the show of violence; 
For it is, as the air, invulnerable. 
And our vain blows malicious mockery. 

But, sir, this is to view a religious establishment upon one side, only 
upon what I may call the eternal side. It has likewise aside of earth; 
and here I cannot do better than quote some lines written by the pres* 



YEARS OF WONDERFUL PROGRESS. 227 

ent Archbishop of Dublin, at a time when his genius was devoted to 
the muses. He said, in speaking" of mankind: — 

" We who did our lineage high 
Draw from beyond the starry sky, 
And yet upon the other side, 
To earth and to its dust allied." 

And so the Church Establishment, regarded in its theory and in its 
aim, is beautiful and attractive. Yet what is it bnt an appropriation 
of public property, an appropriation of the fruits of labor and of skill 
to certain purposes, and unless these purposes are fulfilled, that ap- 
propriation cannot be justified. Therefore, sir, I cannot but feel that 
we must set aside fears which thrust themselves upon the imagina- 
tion, and act upon the sober dictates of our judgment. I think it has 
been shown that the cause for action is strong — not for precipitate 
action, not for action beyond our powers, but for such action as the 
opportunities of the times and the condition of Parliament, if there 
be but a ready will, will amply and easily admit of. If I am asked as 
to my expectations of the issue of this struggle, I begin by frankly 
avowing that I, for one, would not have entered into it, unless I be- 
lieved that the final hour was about to sound — 

"Venit summa dies et ineluctabile fatum.*' 

The issue is not in our hands. What we had and have to do is to 
consider well and deeply before we take the first step in an engage- 
ment such as this; but having enterered into the controversy, there 
and then to acquit ourselves like men, and to use every effort to re- 
move what still remains of the scandals and calamities in the rela- 
tions which exist between England and Ireland, and to make our 
best efforts at least to fill up with the cement of human concord the 
noble fabric of the British Empire." 

On the loth of February, 1870, Mr. Gladstone brought 
forward the Irish Land Bill. The House was crowded with 
members and the gallaries were thronged with distinguished 
strangers. In the outset, Mr. Gladstone alluded to the pre- 
dictions of the opponents of the Irish Church Bill twelve 
months before, that it was the land and not the Church 
which lay at the root of Irish grievances. He therefore 
trusted that the Opposition would approach the question 
with a due sense of its importance. The necessity for clos- 
ing and sealing up the controversy was admitted by all fair- 
minded and moderate men on both sides. 



228 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

The position of the Irish occupier under the existing land 
system Mr. Gladstone declared to be no better than it had 
been before the repeal of the Penal Laws. In certain coun- 
ties of Ulster, there was a traditional custom which secured 
to the tenant fixity of tenure so long as he paid his rents, 
and a property or tenant right in his holding in virtue of 
the improvements which he and his predecessors in title 
had affected thereon — a tenant-right which he could sell. 
Throughout the rest of Ireland the tenants were in the main 
tenants-at-will, their property and themselves at the mercy 
of landlords and their agents, an evil condition which re- 
acted upon both tenants and landlords, and produced results 
of barbarism and cruelty, not matched in any country pre- 
tending to be civilized. Mr. Gladstone's Bill legalized the 
Ulster Customs, and sought to extend its benefits to the rest 
of Ireland. But Mr. Gladstone shall tell in his own majestic 
way the moral and social ends he hoped to attain. 

"If I am asked,' he said "what I hope to effect by this bill, I certain- 
ly hope we shall effect a great change in Ireland; but I hope also, and 
confidently believe, that this change will be accomplished by gentle 
means. Every line of the measure has been studied with the keenest 
desire that it shall import as little as possible of shock or violent al- 
teration into any single arrangement now existing between landlord 
and tenant in Ireland. There is, no doubt, much to be undone; there 
is, no doubt, much to be improved; but what we desire is that the 
work of this bill should be like the work of Nature herself, when on 
face of a desolated land she restores what has been laid waste by the 
wild and savage hand of man. Its operations, we believe, will be 
quiet and gradual. We wish to alarm none; we wish to injure no one. 
What we wish is that where there has been despondency, there shall 
be hope: where there has been mistrust, there shall bj confidence; 
where there has been alienation and hate, there shall, however grad- 
ually, be woven the ties of a strong attachment between man and 
man. This we know cannot be done in a day. The measure has ref- 
erence to evils which has long been at work; their roots strike back 
into bygone centuries; and it is against the ordinance of Providence, 
as it is against the interest of man, that immediate reparation should 
n such cases be possible; for one of the main restraints of misdoing 
would be removed, if the consequences of misdoing could in a moment 
receive a remedy. For such reparation and such effects it is that we look 



YEARS OF WONDERFUL PROGRESS. 229 

from this bill; and we reckon on them not less surely and not less con- 
fidently because we know they must be gradual and slow; and be- 
cause we are likewise aware that if it be poisoned by the malignant 
agency of angry or of bitter passions, it cannot do its proper work. 
In order that there may be a hope of its entire success, it must be 
p .ssed — not as a triumph of party over party, or class over class; not 
as the lifting" up of an ensign to record the downfall of that which has 
once been great and powerful — but as a common work of common 
love and goodwill to the common good of our common country. With 
such objects and in such a spirit as that, this House will address itself 
to the work, and sustain the feeble efforts of the Government. And 
my hope, at least is high and ardent that we shall live to see our 
work prosper in our hand, and that in that Ireland, which we desire 
to unite to England and Scotland by the only enduring ties — th >se of 
free-will and free affection — peace, order, and a settled and cheerful 
industry will diffuse their blessings from year to year, and from day 
to day, over a smiling land." 

The history of the bill is almost amusing. Not less than 
three hundred amendments were offered to it. But the liberal 
power was dominant. On the 30th of May, 1870, the bill 
passed the House of Commons. On the second of June it 
passed the Lords, and on August 1st, received the royal assent. 

In the same Session another important Liberal Measure, 
Mr. Forster's Education Bill was introduced by the Gov- 
ernment providing for Elementary Education in England 
and Wales. The measure was based on the principle of 
direct compulsion as regarded the attendance of children, 
and to effect this, power was to be given to each school 
board to frame by-laws compelling the attendance at school 
of all children from five to twelve years of age within their 
districts. 

The Government having shown a decided agreement on 
some points with the members of the Opposition, Mr. Rich- 
ards charged the Premier with having thrown the Noncon- 
formists overboard. Mr. Forster became extremely un- 
popular for a time with the latter body, and he was 
described by Mr. Richards as " mounting the good steed 
Conservative, and charging into the ranks of his friends and 
riding them down roughshod. " 



230 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

On the order for the third reading, Mr. Dixon and Mr. 
Miall, speaking on behalf of the Nonconformists, denounced 
the measure, and attacked the Government for having roused 
the suspicion and distrust of their own supporters, while 
they had secured the aid of the Opposition. 

Mr. Miall said that the Premier had led one section of 
the Liberal party through the Valley of Humiliation ; but 
" once bit, twice shy," he continued, "and we can't stand 
this sort of a thing much longer. " Mr. Gladstone was roused 
by this speech, and a sharp passage of arms occurred. 

"I hope," said the Premier, replying to Mr. Miall, 
' i that my honorable friend will not continue his support to 
the Government one moment longer than he deems it con- 
sistent with his sense of duty and right. For God's sake, 
sir, let him withdraw it the moment he thinks it better for 
the cause he has at heart that he should do so. So long as 
my honorable friend thinks fit to give us his support we 
will co-operate with my honorable friend for every purpose 
we have in common ; but when we think his opinions and 
demands exacting, when we think he looks too much to the 
section of the community he adorns, and too little to the in- 
terests of the people at large, we must then recollect that 
we are the Government of the Queen, and that those who 
have assumed the high responsibility of administering the 
affairs of this Empire, must endeavor to forget the parts in 
the whole, and must, in the great measures they introduce 
into the House, propose to themselves no meaner or narrower 
object — no other object than the welfare of the Empire at 
large. This second important measure of a memorable ses- 
sion eventually passed both Houses and became a law. 

In July, 1870, war broke out between France and 
Prussia. Mr. Gladstone was pressed hard by Bismarck and 
by other thoughtless and unprincipled men at home to take 
sides, but he did himself the honor and his country and age 
the grand service of maintaining a strict neutrality. This 



YEARS OF WONDERFUL PROGRESS. 231 

was the Golden Age of Liberalism. Mr. Justin McCarthy 
speaking of these times and of the wonderful advance of 
just and liberal legislations says: 

" Nothing in modern English history is like the rush of 
the extraordinary years of reforming energy on which the 
new Administration had now entered. Mr. Gladstone's 
Government had to grapple with five or six great questions, 
any one of which might have seemed enough to engage the 
whole attention of an ordinary Administration. The new 
Prime Minister had pledged himself to abolish the State 
Church in Ireland and to reform the Irish Land Tenure 
system. He had made up his mind to put an end to the 
purchase of commissions in the army. Recent events and 
experiences had convinced him that it was necessary to in- 
troduce the system of voting by ballot. He accepted for 
his Government the responsibility of orignating a complete 
system of National Education." 

The Dissenters' Burials Bill was brought forward by Sir 
Morton Peto. On the second reading of the Bill, Mr. 
Gladstone proved his broad and generous sympathy with 
that spirit of toleration which was rapidly winning its way 
with all sincere, thoughtful minds, by the following im- 
pressive words: "He said he could not refuse his consent 
to the second reading of the Bill, though he thought some 
portions of it were open to objection; " but," he added, " I 
do not see that there is sufficient reason, or indeed, any 
reason at all, why, having granted, to the entire commu- 
nity the power of professing and practicing what form of 
religion they please during life, you should say to them as 
to their relations when dead, i we will at last lay our hands 
upon you, and not permit you the privilege of being buried 
in the church yard, where perhaps the ashes of your an- 
cestors repose, or at any rate in the place of which you are 
parishioners, unless you appear there as members of the 
Church of England, and, as members of that Church, have 



232 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

her service read over your remains' — that appears to me an 
inconsistency and an anomaly in the present state of the law, 
and is in the nature of a grievance" — Sir Morton Peto's 
Bill became law. 

Another grand reform that marked these years of won- 
derful years, was the abolition of the University Tests. 
The tests which existed at the Universities had for their dis- 
tinct and direct object the limitation of the advantages of 
these great national seats of learning to the members of the 
Church of England. Under the arrangement that then ex- 
isted all Dissenters were excluded. This was naturally felt 
to be an injustice. A student might pass all examinations 
with honor, but if he had a conscience and could not swear 
unfeigned assent and consent to the thirty-nine articles, he 
was refused his diploma and degree. This was not a gross 
but a refined injustice in scholarly England. Mr. Glad- 
stone's Bill for the abolition of these tests struggled into 
law. The result was that all lay students, of whatever re- 
ligious creed, were in future to be admitted to the universi- 
ties on equal terms Thus was swept away by this great 
reformer another shred of religious intolerance. It is sin- 
gular to note that the first year after the abolition of the 
Tests, the Senior TTranglership of Cambridge was won by 
the son of a Baptist minister then resident in Cambridge. 

Prior to the passing of the last Kef orm Bill, there were 
few safeguards so absolutely necessary for the protection of 
the ordinary voter as the Ballot. On its first introduction 
the Bill was particularly offensive to the then Conservative 
Party, and steps were taken by them to mark their sense of 
objection, whilst long-continued and virulent opposition was 
shown. It at length passed the House of Commons, but the 
House of Peers rejected it with decision, the voting being 
97 to 48, or nearly two to one, against the Bill itself. It 
was re-introduced in the following session by Mr. Forster, 
and after protracted debates and some important amend- 



YEARS OF WONDERFUL PROGRESS. 233 

merits, passed the Lower House, but was again met iu the 
Upper House with amendments, the most important of 
which was a clause stating that the operation of the Bill 
should be optional. This was held by the Government to 
be a direct mode of rendering the Bill utterly useless, and 
as such was declined. A conference took place, and event- 
ually the Bill passed both houses and became law. It is 
perhaps, too early to measure the total result of the Ballot 
Act, although there can be little doubt that its influence is 
still on the increase. The first effect was a sense of doubt 
as to how far the voting was really secret, but a conviction 
is gaining ground that for all practical purposes it answers 
the end for which it was constructed. It may here be men- 
tioned that the Ballot Act, as it is at present administered, 
is open to the possibilities of very grave abuse. Further 
experience will probably demonstrate the necessity for some 
changes in the actual working of the Act itself. 

One of the most daring steps in all Mr. Gladstone's car- 
rer was his abolition by Royal warrant of the system of 
purchase in the army. By this measure, he made a thous- 
and foes, but he won the heart of the British army by his 
daring hicrh-handed course. One of the strongest anomalies 
in connection with a State appointment, was the system 
which had grown up, and by which an officer purchased his 
successive steps in rank with the same freedom and certainty 
as he could purchase a sum in Consols. When stated in its 
rough outline it seemed too ridiculous to be credible, but it 
was less ridiculous than it seemed. To say that a man's 
position as an officer was actualy dependent upon the length 
of his purse, was to throw contempt on the whole arrange- 
ment. It was, however, found in practice that so far as 
courage and skill were concerned, the men who successively 
bought their steps in rank, fought with as much courage and 
ability as though they had earned their position by hard 
and studious care. The general position, however, remained 



234 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

untouched, that so long as purchase formed a part of the 
system of the army, each man who had paid for his position 
had a practical claim for the position he occupied. 

This was wisely held to be incompatible with the necessary 
freedom of action required by the changes which had crept 
over modern warfare; it was therefore decided that a Bill 
abolishing the right to purchase should be introduced. 
Some idea may be formed of the absolute necessity for such 
a step; when it is stated that the amount required to repay 
the officers the amount they had disbursed in the purchase of 
their commissions was between $37 000,000 and $42,000. 000. 

In the course of the debate Mr. Trevelyan quoted the 
words of Havelock, who said that he was sick for years wait- 
ing for his promotion, which three sots and two fools had 
purchased over him, and that if he had no family to support 
he would not serve another hour. 

The Bill passed its second reading, but was discussed at 
inordinate length in Committee. The House of Lords at 
once came to the rescue, and at a meeting of Conservative 
Peers, it was resolved to oppose the Bill. After considerable 
discussion the House of Lords rejected the Bill by 155 to 
130. The action was a grave one, and necessitated equal 
grave action on the part of Mr. Gladstone. This came in 
due course. On the 20th of July, 1871, Sir George Grey 
put a question in the House on the subject, and Mr. Glad- 
stone in reply stated: 

' ' That the Government had resolved to advise Her Maj- 
esty to cancel the Eoyal Warrant under which purchase was 
legal. That advice had been accepted by Her Majesty, and 
a new warrant had been framed in terms conformable with 
the law. It was consequently his duty on the part of the 
Government to state that after the 1st of November ensuing, 
purchase in the Army would no longer exist." 

The House of Lords were very irate at the step which had 
been taken, and passed a vote of censure on the Govern- 



YEARS OF WONDERFUL PROGRESS. 235 

ment, but at the same time passed the Bill without a divis- 
ion. The use of the Royal Prerogative for the purpose was 
keenly and bitterly discussed, and the absolute legality of 
the step was held to be open to discussion. A letter from Sir 
Roundell Palmer was read on the last day of the Session ap- 
proving the issue of the Royal Warrant — such a Warrant 
was within the undoubted powers of the Crown. This set- 
tled the legal point, but the question still remained as to 
how far such a course was justifiable. The answer will 
probably be found in the recognition that such a course of 
action probably saved an outburst of public opinion, the re- 
sults of which might have proved even less agreeable. 

This was no doubt a high-handed, not to say autocratic, 
step. Perhaps the Queen, certainly the House of Lords, 
never forgave him. It was denounced as Cassarism and 
Cromwellism in some quarters. No doubt there were touches 
both of Csesar and of Cromwell in Mr. Gladstone, and 
it may be that more than once he would have been glad 
to have imitated the courage of the Soldier of St. Ives, and 
have sent the House of Commons packing. Punch of this 
period had a remarkable picture of Mr. Gladstone as "Ajax 
Defying the Lightning." Thousands who call in question 
the wisdom of his course, could not help admiring his pluck, 
and in the shibboleth of all true Englishmen, "pluck," is a car- 
dinal virtue. Anyway, Purchase in the Army, was a thing 
of the past. 

Prior to the passing of the last Reform Bill, there were 
few safe-guards so absolutely necessary for the protection of 
the ordinary voter as the Ballot. On its first introduction 
the Bill was particularly offensive to the then Conservative 
Party, and steps were taken by them to mark their sense of 
objection, whilst long-continued and virulent opposition was 
shown. It at length passed the House of Commons, but the 
House of Peers rejected it with decision, the voting being 
97 to 48, or nearly two to one, against the Bill itself, It 



23G LIFE OF GLADSTONE, 

was re-introduced in the following Session by Mr. Foster, 
and after protracted debates and some important amend- 
ments, passed the Lower House, but was again met in the 
Upper House with amendments, the most important of 
which was a clause stating that the operation of the Bill 
should be optional. This was held by the Government to 
l)3a direct mode of rendering the Bill utterly useless, and 
as such was declined. A conference took place, and event- 
ually the Bill passed both Houses and became a law. It is, 
perhaps, too early to measure the total result of the Ballot 
Act, although there can be little doubt that its influence is 
still on the increase. The first effect was a sense of doubt 
as to how far the voting was really secret, but a conviction 
is gaining ground that for all practical purposes it answers 
the end for which it was constructed. It may here be men- 
tioned that the Ballot Act, as it is at present administered, 
is open to the possibilities of very grave abuse. Further 
experience will probably demonstrate the necessity for some 
changes in the actual working: of the Act itself. 

The years 1869, 1870 and 1871 are banner years of prog- 
ress in English politics. Those eventful years witnessed 
the passing of the Irish Church Act, the Endowed Schools 
Bill, the Bankruptcy Bill, the Habitual Criminals Bill, the 
Irish Land Act, the Elementary Education Act, the Aboli- 
tion of Purchase in the Army, the negotiation of the Wash- 
ington Treaty, the passing of the University Test Bill and 
of the Trades Union Bill and the repeal of the Ecclesiastical 
Titles Act. 

All through the summer of 1871 it was manifest that 
Mr. Gladstone's popularity was waning. Something had to 
be done. The veteran statesman resolved on addressing his 
Greenwich Constituents. He knew there would be a good 
deal to face, possibly direct open hostility. But this did not 
daunt him, and perchance he had some faith in his power 
over an audience. It was the privilege of the present writer 



YEARS OF WONDERFUL PROGRESS. 237 

to be one of a goodly company of twenty thousand people 
who went down to Blackheath on Saturday morning, Octo- 
ber 28th, 1871. If a lenghty sketch in detail is given, it 
is because of the conviction that it was one of the most won- 
derful political meetings ever held in ancient or modern 
days, and that the speech was one of the most wonderful 
ever delivered by this great master of the art of oratory. 
Early attendance and some degree of persistance secured a 
place near the temporary hustings. Mrs. Gladstone, as 
always, w T as by her husband's side. The Daily News tells 
the story of that turbulent scene: 

"The dense mass heaved, and there rose from it an audible gasp as 
a burst of cheering" was heard in the offing'. Nearer rolled the cheers, 
mingled with some yells, but the silence of keen expectancy reigned 
before the hustings. The door at the back of the booth opened; 
there was some confusion among" its occupants, and then — here was 
Mr. Gladstone, standing at the right hand of Mr. Angerstein. Then 
the throng broke the silence of expectancy. Peal after peal of 
cheering rent the air. There was a waving forest of hats. The 
cheering was spasmodic — it was too loud to be sustained, and ever as 
it drooped a little was audible the steady automaton-like hissing. 
But as yet there was little or no hooting, only the bitter, persistent 
hissing in the lulls of the cheering. If Mr. Angerstein flattens him- 
self that in the remarks he made introducing Mr. Gladstone, he- was 
audible ten feet to his front, he simply labors under a delusion. The 
noise that drowned his words was utterly indescribable. When this 
brief preface was over, Mr. Gladstone stood forward bareheaded. 
There was something deeply dramatic in the intense silence which 
fell upon the vast crowd when the renewed burst of cheering, with 
which he was greeted, had subsided. But the first word he spoke 
was the signal of a fearful tempest of din. From all around the 
skirts of the crowd, rose a something between a groan and a howl. 
So fierce was it that for a little space, it might laugh to scorn the 
burst of cheering that strove to over-master it. The battle raged 
between the two sounds, and looking straight upon the excited crowd 
stood Mr. Gladstone, calm, resolute, patient. It was fine to note the 
manly British impulse of fair-play that gained him a hearing when 
the first ebullition had exhausted itself, and the revulsion that fol- 
lowed so quickly and spontaneously, on the realization of the sug- 
gestion that it was mean to hoot a man down without giving him a 
chance to speak for himself. After that Mr. Gladstone may be said 
to have had it all his own way. Of course at intervals there were 



238 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

repetitions of the interruptions. When he first broached the dock- 
yard question, there was long, loud, and fervent groaning; when he 
named Ireland a cry rose of "God save Ireland !" from the serried 
files of Hibernians that had rendezvoused on the left flank. But 
long before he had finished, he had so enthralled his audience, that 
impatient disgust was expressed at the handful who still continued 
their abortive efforts at interruption. When at length the two 
hours' oration was over, and the question was put that substantially 
was, whether Mr. Gladstone had cleared away from the judgment 
of his constituency i^he fog of prejudice and ill-feeling that unques- 
tionably encircled him and his Ministry, the affirmative reply was 
given in bursts of all but unanimous cheering, than which none more 
earnest ever greeted a political leader. Rarely has an English 

Premier ventured to throw himself thus completely upon the sj^mpa- 
thies of the great mass of the people." 

When Mr. Gladstone in the course of his address began 
to pay his respects to the House of Lords, he was inter- 
rupted by a voice, ' ' Leave the constitution of the House of 
Lords alone !" Whereupon he proceeded to say: — 

" I am not prepared to agree with my friend there, because the 
constitution of the House of Lords has often been a subject of con- 
sideration amongst the wisest and most sober-minded men; as, for 
example, when a proposal — of which my friend disapproves perhaps, 
— was made a few years ago to make a moderate addition to the House 
of Lords, of peers holding their peerage for life. I am not going to 
discuss that particular measure; I will only say, without entering 
into details that would be highly interesting, but which the vast 
range of the subject makes impossible on the present occasion — I will 
only say that I believe there are various particulars in which the 
constitution of the House of Lords might, under favorable circum- 
stances, be improved. And I am bound to say that, though I believe 
there are some politicians bearing the name of Liberal who approve 
the proceedings of the House of Lords with respect to the Ballot Bill 
at the close of last season, I must own that I deeply lament that pro- 
ceeding. I have a shrewd suspicion in my mind that a very large 
proportion of the people of England have a sneaking kindness for the 
hereditary principle. My observation has not been of a very brief 
period, and what I have observed is this, that wherever there is any- 
thing to be done, or to be given, and there are two candidates for it 
who are exactly alike — alike in opinions, alike in character, alike in 
possessions, the one being a commoner and the other a lord — the 
Eng-lishman is very apt indeed to prefer the lord." 

Detailing the great advantages which had accrued from 
the legislation of the past generation, including Free Trade, 



YEARS OF WONDERFUL PROGRESS. 239 

the removal of twenty millions of taxation, a cheap press, 
and an Education bill, Mr. Gladstone enforced the lesson 
that Englishmen must depend upon themselves for their 
future well-being and improvement, and thus concluded his 
wonderful address : 

" How, in a country where wealth accumulates with such vast 
rapidity, are we to check the growth of luxury and selfishness by a 
sound and healthy opinion ? How are we to secure to labor its due 
honor; I mean not only to the labor of the hands, but to the labor of 
the man with any and all the faculties which God has given him ? 
How are we to make ourselves believe, and how are we to bring" the 
country t ) believe, that in the sight of God and man labor is honora- 
ble and idleness is contemptible ? Depend upon it, gentlemen, I do 
but speak the serious and solemn truth when I say that beneath the 
political questions which are found on the surface lie, those deeper 
and more searching questions that enter into the breast and strike 
home to the conscience and mind of every man; and it is upon the 
solution of these questions that the well-being of England must de- 
pend. Gentlemen, I use the words of a popular poet when I give 
vent to this sentiment of hope, with which for one I venture to look 
forward to the future of this country. He says: 

• The ancient virtue is not dead, and long may it endure 
May wealth in England—' 

and I am sure he means by wealth that higher sense of it — prosperity, 
and sound prosperity — 

' May wealth in England never fail, nor pity for the poor ' 

May strength and the means of material prosperity never be wanting 
to us; but it is far more important that there shall not be wanting 
the disposition to use those means aright. Gentlemen, I shall go 
'rom this meeting, having given you the best account of my position 
in my feeble power, within the time and under the circumstances of 
the day. I shall go from this meeting strengthened by the comfort 
of your kindness and your indulgence, to resume my humble share in 
public labors. No motive will more operate upon me in stimulating 
me to the discharge of duty than the gratitude with which I look 
back upon the, I believe, unexampled circumstances under which you 
made me your representative. But I shall endeavor — I shall make it 
my hope — to show that gratitude less by words of idle compliment or 
hollow flattery, than by a manful endeavor, according to the measure 
of my gifts, humble as they may be, to render service to a Queen who 
lives in the hearts of the people, and to a nation, with respect to 
which I will say that through all posterity, whether it be praised or 
whether it be blamed, whether it be acquitted or whether it be con- 



240 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

demned, it will be acquitted or condemned upon this issue, of having" 
m.ide a good or a bad use of the roost splendid opportunities; of hav- 
ing" turned to proper account, or failed to turn to account, the powers, 
the energies, the faculties which rank the people of this little island 
;is among" the few great nations that have stamped their name and 
secured their fame among the greatest nations of the world." 

At a great meeting held in Liverpool, Mr. Gladstone 
said : " Having produced this measure, founded in a spirit 
of moderation, we hope to support it with decision. It is 
not in our power to secure the passing of the measure; that 
rests more with you, and more with those whom you repre- 
sent, and of whom you are a sample, than it does with us. 
Still, we have a great responsibilty, and are conscious of it ; 
and we do not intend to flinch from it. We stake our- 
selves — we stake our existence as a Government — and we 
also stake our political character on the adoption of the bill 
in its main provisions. You have a right to expect from 
us that we should tell you what we mean, and that the 
trumpet which it is our business to blow should give forth 
no uncertain sound. Its sound has not been, and, I trust, 
will not be, uncertain. We have passed the Eubicon — we 
have broken the bridge, and burned the boats behind us. 
We have advisedly cut off the means of retreat, and having 
done this, we hope that, as far as time is yet permitted, we 
have done our duty to the Crown and to the nation." 

Nothing can be more interesting to Americans than the 
position Mr. Gladstone took on the question of International 
Arbitration, and especially in relation to the final settle- 
ment of the Alabama claims. No man is at all times wise. 
An impartial and honest judgment will not hesitate to take 
note of a great man's mistakes. In the matter of our Civil 
War, Mr. Gladstone was gravely mistaken. But he was 
honest in his utterances, and we are ready to give them 
word for word. 

In October 1862, Mr. Gladstone visited Newcastle-on- 
Tyne, and was received with extraordinary demonstrations 



YEARS OF WONDERFUL FROGRESS. 241 

of popularity. He made what has been called "a royal 
progress " down the Tyne, which has been fully described 
by a local journalist. "It was not possible to show to royal 
visitors more demonstrations of honor than were showered 
on this illustrious commoner and his wife. ... At every 
point, at every bank and hill and factory, in every opening 
where people could stand or climb, expectant crowds awaited 
Mr. Gladstone's arrival. Women and children in all cos- 
tumes and of all conditions lined the shores . . . Mr. and 
Mrs. Gladstone passed. Cannon boomed from every point ; 
. . . such a succession of cannonading never before greeted 
triumphant conqueror on the march. " A great banquet was 
given in Gladstone's honor, and in making a speech after- 
wards, he let fall a few words with regard to the situation of 
affairs in America, words that were certainly injudicious, a 
fact which he himself afterwards recognized. He had said, 
— and the fact of his being a member of the Government 
of course gave his utterances a ten-fold importance, — u We 
may have our own opinions about slavery, we may be for or 
against the South, but there is no doubt, I think, about this — 
Jefferson Davis and the other leaders of the South have 
made an army ; they are making, it appears, a navy ; and 
they have made, gentlemen, what is even of more impor- 
tance — they have made a nation. AVe may anticipate with 
certainty the success of the Southern States, so far as re- 
gards their separation from the North." It is certainly not 
safe to prophesy, for the prophetic portion of this ill-timed 
speech was very soon proved entirely wrong. It is curious 
to remember that Gladstone's great political rival, Disraeli, 
also foretold the success of the Southern States. He said 
that the results of the civil war would be " An .America of 
armies, of diplomacy, of rival states, of maneuvering 
cabinets, of frequent turbulence and probably frequent 
wars." It is manifest that even shrewd and sagacious 
statesmen are capable of making egregious blunders, espee- 



242 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

ially when they venture into the realms of prophesy. All 
honor to them however, if having discovered their mistake 
they are willing to make a few and generous avowals that 
they were mistaken. America has had few sincerer admirers 
and no truer friend than William Ewert Gladstone. And 
this was abundantly proved in the matter of the Alabama 
Claims. Mr. George W. Russell says: 

There is no one item of policy in which Mr. Gladstone 
has been engaged, that has done so much for the future of 
the world, as the final settlement of the Alabama Claims by 
arbitration. If it did not inaugurate a new system, it car- 
ried the system of arbitration further than it had ever been 
before, and under conditions which ensured its future ap- 
plication to causes of great and permanent importance. 

This was a gain for humanity. 

As is well known, the dispute arose out of the War of 
Secession. The South claimed its right, as a partner in the 
United States of America, to go its own way, now that a 
question of policy had risen in which the views of the North 
and South were in entire antagonism. The struggle had 
been pending for a considerable period. When the war 
broke out a number of vessels escaped from British ports 
as cruisers of the Southern States, and inflicted great loss 
and damage on the ships and commerce of the North. After 
the war closed, the United States put in a claim for com- 
pensation. This was not admitted by the English govern- 
ment, and the question remained open, and at times threat- 
ening. 

At length it was deemed advisable to endeavor to settle 
all outstanding differences by arbitration, and Mr. Glad- 
stone's government had the honor of expressing its willing- 
ness to abide by the decision of the arbitrators The Con- 
gress met at Geneva, and gave their decision by which 
England was called upon to pay $16,154,830 in satisfaction 
and final settlement of all claims, including interest. Sir 



YEARS OF WONDERFUL PROGRESS. 243 

Alexander Cockburn, who represented Great Britain, dif- 
fered from the rest of the arbitrators, but admitted the jus- 
tice of the award so far as the Alabama was concerned. He 
however counselled the acceptance of the decision of a trib- 
unal by whose award they had freely consented to abide. 
This advice was followed and has borne good fruit since. 

In March 1873, Mr. Gladstone brought forward a Bill 
for University education in Ireland. It was his third as- 
sault on what he called the deadly ' ' Upas tree " of Irish 
misgovernment which he was determined to cut down. 
With magnificent enthusiasm he toiled at his task. Bitter 
opposition proved only to be an inspiration. In closing his 
address on what he called the solemn nature of the subject 
he said: — 

" We have not spared labor and application in the preparation of 
this certainly complicated, and, I venture to hope, also, comprehen- 
sive plan. We have sought to provide a complete remedy for what 
we thought, and for what we have long marked and held up to public 
attention as a palpable grievance — a grievance of conscience. But 
we have not thought that in removing that grievance, we were dis- 
charging either the whole or the main part of our duty. It is one 
thing to clear obstructions from the ground; it is another to raise the 
fabric. And the fabric which we seek to raise is a substantive, organ- 
ized system under which all the sons of Ireland, be their professions, 
be their opinions what they may, may freely meet in their own 
ancient, noble, historic university for the advancement of learning in 
that country. The removal of grievance is the negative portion of 
the project ; the substantive and positive part of it, academic reform. 
We do not ask the House to embark upon a scheme which can be 
described as one of mere innovation. We ask you now to give to Ire- 
land that which has long been desired, which has been often 
attempted, but which has never been attained ; and we ask you to 
give it to Ireland, founding the measure upon the principles on which 
you have already acted in the universities of England. We commit 
the plan to the prudence and the patriotism of this House, which we 
have so often experienced, and in which the country places, as we 
well know, an entire confidence. I will not lay stress upon the evils 
which will flow from its failure, from its rejection, in prolonging and 
embittering the controversies which have for many, for too many 
years been suffered to exist. I would rather dwell upon a more 
pleasing prospect — upon my hope, even upon my belief, that this 



244 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

plan in its essential features may meet with the approval of the 
House and of the country. At any rate I am convinced that if it be 
your pleasure to adopt it, you will by its means enable Irishmen to 
raise their country to a height in the sphere of human culture, such 
as will be worthy of the genius of the people, and such as may per- 
haps, emulate those oldest, and possibLy best, traditions of her his- 
tory, upon which Ireland still so fondly dwells." 

The second reading of the Bill was defeated by a major- 
ity of three. Mr. Gladstone resigned. The Queen sent for 
Mr. Disraeli, but that astute gentleman declined to form a 
Government, on the ground that the majority of the House 
was against him. Mr. Gladstone was compelled therefore 
to continue at his post. But the session dragged on wearily 
till the dawn of another year, and on the morning of January 
the 23d, 1874, all London and the world awoke to be startled 
by what was called for a long time "Gladstone's coup cVetat. " 
Mr. Gladstone issued an address to the Electors of Green- 
wich, announcing that the existing Parliament would be dis- 
solved and a new one summoned to meet without delay. 
Such a day had hardly been in London since Cromwell sent 
the "Hump Parliament* 1 a-packing. Had you walked from 
the marble arch to the Mansion House, you would have 
heard on almost every lip the question: "What does Glad- 
stone mean ? " 

The election took place early in the spring. The Liber- 
als were badly beaten. The Tories rejoiced in a substantial 
majority of forty-six. Mr. Gladstone resigned without 
waiting for the meeting of Parliament. Not only did he 
resign the Premiership, but he resigned also the leadership 
of the Liberal Party, and resolved on retiring from public 
life. He met his Cabinet to say farewell on the 13th of 
March. Mr. Foster, in his diary, records the pathetic inci- 
dent thus : — 

"March 13th, 1874. — Cabinet again at twelve. Decid- 
ea to resign. * * * * Gladstone made us quite a touching 
I . itle speech. He began playfully. This was the last of some 



YEARS OF WONDERFUL PROGRESS. 215 

one hundred and fifty cabinets or so, and he wished to say to his 
colleagues with what "profound gratitude." And here he 
completely broke down and could say nothing, except that 
he could not enter on the details. * " *" * "" Tears came 
to my eyes; we were all touched." 

Mr. Gladstone was sincerely desirous of enjoying that 
period of repose which he had fairly earned, though there 
were not lacking opponents who attributed his comparative 
retirement from Parliamentary life to personal pique. His 
letter to Lord Granville, however, dated 11, Carlton House 
Terrace, March 12, fully explains the reason for that step 
which took the House and the country somewhat by sur- 
prise : — 

"My dear Granville, — I have issued a circular to members of 
Parliament of the Liberal party on the occasion of the opening of 
Parliamentary business. But I feel it to be necessary that, whil'e dis- 
charging - this duty, I should explain what a circular could not convey 
with regard to my individual position at the present time. I Deed 
not apologize for addressing these explanations to you. Independ- 
ently of other reasons for so troubling you, it is enough to observe 
that you have very long represented the Liberal party, and have also 
acted on behalf of the late Government, from its commencement to 
its close, in the House of Lords. 

" For a variety of reasons personal to myself, I could not contem- 
plate any unlimited extension of active political service ; and I am 
anxious that it should be clearly understood by those friends with 
whom I have acted in the direction of affairs, that at my age I must 
reserve my entire freedom to divest myself of all the responsibilities 
of leadership at no distant time. The need of rest will prevent me 
from giving more than occasional attendance in the House of Com- 
mons during the present session. 

"I should be desirous, shortly before the commencement of the 
session of 1875, to consider whether there would be advantage in my 
placing my services for a time at the disposal of the Liberal Party, or 
whether I should then claim exemption from the duties I have hitherto 
discharged. If, however, there should be reasonable ground for 
believing that, instead of the course which I have sketched, it would 
be preferable, in the view of the party generally, for me to assume at 
once the place of an independent member, I should willingly adopt 
the latter alternative. But I shall retain all that desire I have 
hitherto felt for the welfare of the party, and if the gentlemen com- 



246 



LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 



posing" it should think fit either to choose a leader or make provision 
ad interim, with a view to the convenience of the present year, the 
person designated would, of course, command from me any assistance 
which he might find occasion to seek, and which it might be in my 
power to render." 

For a time the Liberal Party enjoyed the partial aid of 
Mr. Gladstone, but this condition of things was sure to 
prove unsatisfactory. And so, on the 13th of January, 1875, 
Mr. Gladstone wrote to Lord Granville: — "Having re- 
viewed the whole question, the result has been that I see no 
public advantage in my continuing to act as the leader of the 
Liberal Party; and that, at the age of sixty-five, and after 
forty-two years of a laborious public life, I think myself en- 
titled to retire on the present opportunity. This retirement 
is dictated to me by my personal views as to the best meth- 
od of spending the closing years of my life." 

The Liberal party accepted Mr. Gladstone's resignation of 
the leadership, and elected Lord Hartington, afterwards the 
Duke of Devonshire in his place. But a little more than a 
year had elapsed since his "final" retirement when Mr. Glad- 
stone came forth once more. 

The Public Worships Bill attracted his attention, and 
brought forth most impressive advocacy in the direc- 
tion of religious toleration. But he was most inten- 
sely concerned by the Bulgarian atrocities. He threw 
aside polemics and criticism. He forgot for awhile, Homer 
and the Pope, as he flung himself with all the impas- 
sioned energy of a youth into a new crusade. He, whose 
keen sense of justice and strong humanitarian sympathies 
had, a quarter of a century earlier, made Europe ring with 
the story of the Neapolitan iniquities, was again roused to 
give eloquent expression to his righteous indignation. Mr. 
G. W. E. Russell has summed up the reasons for Mr. Glad- 
stone's action in a most eloquent passage: — "The reason of 
all this passion is not difficult to discover. Mr. Gladstone 
is a humane man ; the Turkish tyranny is founded on cruelty. 



YEARS OF WONDERFUL PROGRESS. 247 

He is a worshipper of freedom ; the Turk is a slave 
owner. He is a lover of peace; the Turk is nothing if not 
a soldier. He is a disciple of progress; the Turkish empire 
is a synonym for retrogression. But above and beyond and 
before all else, Mr. Gladstone is a Christian; and in the 
Turk he saw the great anti-Christian power standing, where 
it ought not, in the fairest provinces of Christendom, and 
stained with the record of odious cruelty, practiced through 
long centuries on its defenceless subjects, who were wor- 
shipers of Jesus Christ." Mr. Gladstone — his reappear- 
ance among them being loudly cheered by his followers — 
once more came down to the House, to learn what the Min- 
isters in power meant to do with respect to the Eastern 
Question. 

In the spring of the year, the daily press had been filled 
with accounts of the terrible cruelties and massacres that 
were taking place in and around Bulgaria. The Govern- 
ment, however, took no measures to interfere with the bar- 
barous behaviour of our Turkish allies; and in the autumn 
Mr. Gladstone — the terrible stories of the atrocities, which 
were continued on during the summer, having been amply 
verified — published a pamphlet entitled < ' Bulgarian Horrors 
and the Question in the East." The daily papers had de- 
scribed many of the atrocities committed in a wholesale 
manner on men, women, and children indiscriminately. 
The pamphlet brought home to the English people the idea 
that for these horrors which were going on, they too, as 
non-interfering allies of Turkey, were in part responsible. 

The Government took no definite action, and were get- 
ting rapidly discredited. Following on his pamphlet, 
Mr. Gladstone, a few days later, addressed a mass meeting 
of his constituents at Blackheath; and again on the 8th of 
December, he spoke at a great gathering which was held in 
St. James' Hall London. Notable mer. of all ranks were 



1 ; |S LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

pre ;ent to give expression to their detestation of the action 
of Turkey. 

It was at this meeting that the late Professor E. A. Free- 
mini used the memorable phrase, "Perish the interests of 
England, perish our dominion in India, sooner than we 
should strike one blow or speak one word on behalf of the 
wrong against the right ! " » 

hi the House of Commons Mr. Gladstone concluded one 

of his grandest speeches in these burning words : 

Sir, there were other days when England was the hope of freedom. 
Wherever in the world a high aspiration was entertained, or a noble 
blow was struck, it was to England that the eyes of the oppressed 
were always turned — to this favorite, this darling home of so much 
privilege and so much happiness, where the people had built up a 
noble edifice for themselves, would, it was well known, be ready to 
do what in them lay to secure the benefit of the same inestimable 
boon for others. You talk to me of the established tradition and 
policy in regard to Turkey. I appeal to an established tradition, 
older, wider, nobler far — a tradition not 7. hieh disregards British 
interests, but which teaches you to seek the promotion of these inter- 
ests in obeying the dictates of honor and justice. And, sir, what is to 
be the end of this ? Are w r e to dress up the fantastic ideas some 
people entertain about this policy and that policy in the garb of 
British interests, and then, with a new and base idolatry, fall down 
a ad worship them ? Or are w T e to look, not at the sentiment, but at 
the hard facts of the case, which Lord Derby told us fifteen years 
ago— viz. , that it is the populations of those countries that will ulti- 
mately possess them — that will ultimately determine their abiding 
condition ? It is to this fact, this law, that we should look. There 
is now before the world a glorious prize. A portion of those unhappy 
people are still as yet, making an effort to retrieve what they have lost 
so long, but have not ceased to love and to desire. I speak of those 
in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Another portion — a band of heroes such 
as the world has rarely seen — stand on the rocks of Montenegro, and 
ure ready now, as they have ever been during the 400 years of their 
exile from their fertile plains, to sweep down from their fastnesses 
and meet the Turks at any odds for the re-establishment of justice 
aud of peace in those countries. Another portion still, the 5,000,000 
of Bulgarians, cowed and beaten down to the ground, hardly ventur- 
ing to look upward, even to their Father in heaven, have extended 
their hands to you ; they have sent you their petition, they have 
prayed for your help and protection. They have told you that they 



YEARS OF WONDERFUL PROGRESS. 249 

do not seek alliance with Russia, or with any foreign power, but that 
they seek to be delivered from an intolerable biirden of woe and 
shame. That burden of woe and shame — the greatest that exists on 
God's earth — is one that we thought united Europe was about to 
remove ; but to the removing which, for the present, you seem to have 
no efficacious means of offering even the smallest practical contribu- 
tion. But, sir, the removal of that load of woe and shame is a 
grand and noble prize. It is a prize well worth competing for. It is 
not yet too late to try to win it. I believe there are men in the Cabi- 
net who would try to win it if they were free to act on their own 
beliefs and aspirations. It is not yet too late, I say to become com- 
petitors for that prize ; but be assured that even whether you mean 
to claim for yourselves even a single leaf in that immortal chaplet of 
renown, which will be the reward of true labor in that cause, or 
whether you turn your backs upon that cause and upon your own 
duty, I believe, for one, that the knell of Turkish tyranny in these 
provinces has sounded. So far as human eye can judge, it is about 
to be destroyed. The destruction may not come in the way or by 
the means that we should choose ; but come this boon from what 
hands it may, it will be a noble boon, and as a noble boon will 
gladly be accepted by Christendom and the world. 

Meetings were addressed by Mr. Gladstone all over the 
country; a new lease of youth seemed to have been allotted 
to him, his fervor and his energy alike seeming inex- 
haustible. 

During 1877-78 the Russo-Turkish war took place; and 
in July of the latter year the celebrated Berlin Conference 
met. Returning from the Conference, Benjamin Disraeli 
then Earl of Beaconsfield and Lord Salisbury, were hailed in 
London with every demonstration of enthusiasm. The 
" jingo" policy, as it was called, had asserted itself, and 
had undoubtedly taken the public fancy. So much so that 
for a time, despite his energetic action on behalf of suf- 
fering and oppressed peoples, despite his long years of 
noble service in the cause of reform, Mr. Gladstone was 
discredited and unpopular. His time of triumph, however, 
was not far off. 

The Afghan and Zulu wars broke out, and Parliament 
was called upon to vote $32,000,000 to defray the cost. 



250 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

The budgets of IS 78 and 1879 both showed large deficits, 
notwithstanding the fact that when Mr. Gladstone's Min- 
istry left office, there had been a surplus of over fliteen 
millions. The people who had applauded the " imperial 
policy," the "jingoism' 1 of the preceding two or three 
years, did not appreciate it so well when they found it was 
so costly a one. Business, too, was in a very depressed 
condition. The fate of unpopularity which had grown upon 
Lhe Liberal Government, and had culminated in its defeat 
in 1873, was now growing upon their opponents; as in 
1879 the term of their office tenure, was drawing to its 
close. 

Gladstone was once more, in every sense of the word, 
the Liberal leader, and was taking as active a part as ever 
in Parliamentary business. He decided to contest the 
election for Midlothian. Never in the history of modern 
times has such a reception been accorded to any man as that 
which he met on visiting the North. AVhen he reached 
Edinburgh, "his progress was as the progress of a nation's 
2'uest or a kino* returning to his own aerain." For three 
weeks he delivered speeches all over the constituency, being 
received everywhere with most extraordinary demonstra- 
tions of good-will and admiration from thousands of per- 
sons. " Being a man of Scotch blood, lam very much 
attached to Scotland, and like even the Scottish accent," 
Mr. Gladstone oncu caid; and Scotland showed herself 
equally proud of her son. Although Midlothian had been 
one of the Conservative strongholds, Mr. Gladstone won it 
by a majority of 211 against the son of the Duke of 
Bueeleuofh. The result of the general election was a return 
of the Liberals to power with a considerable majority. 

Lord Beaconsfield followed the precedent he h A himself 
set in 1868, and resigned before meeting Parliament. As 
Lord Hartington was at the time titular leader of the Lib- 
eral party, Mr. Gladstone being still technically in retire- 



YEARS OF WONDERFUL PROGRESS. 251 

ment, the Queen sent for Lord Hartington, but it was man- 
ifest that Mr. Gladstone was the only available, indeed the 
only possible Prime Minister. The country demanded him. 
The old popularity came back with increased volume. The 
" People's William" was now beginning to be regarded as 
the " Grand Old Man." Both Lord Granville and Lord 
Hartington assured Her Majesty that there was no other 
course but to recall Mr. Gladstone to power. The royal 
summons came, Mr. Gladstone went down to Windsor, re- 
ceived Ihe royal mandate, kissed the royal hand, and came 
back to take a second time the helm of state, and lead the 
nation that now almost idolized him, in an upward and an 
onward course. 






CHAPTER XXII. 

HOME KULE. 

'* A soul as full of worth, as void of pride, 
Which nothing seeks to show, or needs to hide. 
Which nor to guilt nor fear its caution owes, 
And boasts a warmth that from no passion flows. 
A face untaught to feign; a judging eye 
That darts severe upon a rising lie, 
And strikes a blush through frontless flattery. 
All this thou wert." 

— Alexander Pope. 
Surely the love of our country is a lesson of reason, not an insti- 
tution of nature. Education and habit, obligation and interest, 
attach us to it, not instinct. It is, however, necessary to be cultivated, 
and the prosperity of all societies, as well as the grandeur of some, 
depends upon it so much, that orators by their eloquence, and poets 
by their enthusiasm, have endeavored to work up this precept of 
morality into a principle of passion. But the examples which we 
find in history, improved by the lively descriptions and the just ap- 
plauses or censures of historians, will have a much better and more 
permanent effect than declamation, or song, or the dry ethics of mere 
philosophy. 

— Lord Bolingbroke. 

The Parliament of 1880-1885 opened full of promise. 

When the Ministry was completed, the list presented an 
appearance of strength and stability that promised a long, 
honorable and useful career. Lord Granville and Lord 
Hartington, cordially accepting the situation, resumed their 
allegiance to their former chief, the one serving the new 
Ministry as Foreign Secretary, the other as Secretary of 
State for India. Mr. Gladstone coupled with the office of 
First Lord of the Treasury the duties of Chancellor of the 
Exchequer. Sir William Harcourt, preferring not to pur- 
sue the pathway opened for him when he was made a Law 



HOME RULE. 253 

Officer of the Crown, became Home Secretary. Mr. Child- 
ers was Secretary for War. Lord Kimberley cared for the 
Colonies. Lord Northbrook was First Lord of the Ad- 
miralty. Mr. Forster was Chief Secretary for Ireland. 
The Earl of Selborne presided in the House of Lords as 
Lord Chancellor. Earl Spencer was Lord President of the 
Council. The Duke of Argyll and Mr. Bright divided be- 
tween them the posts of Lord Privy Seal and Chancellor of 
the Duchy of Lancaster, whose importance arose almost ex- 
clusively from the fact that they carried with them seats in 
the Cabinet. 

In this Parliament at the opening of the session of 1881, 
a Home Rule Party appeared, composed of sixty-one mem- 
bers, with Charles Stuart Parnell at its head. He had been 
in Parliament since 1875, and had acquired a thorough po- 
litical education. Such a leader, with more than three- 
score determined men at his back, formed a very serious 
contingent. They were men of one idea mainly, and while 
they were generally in harmony with the Liberal party and 
its principles, they set before themselves the attainment of 
Home Rule for Ireland, as the only cure for her manifold 
wrongs and sorrows. Under the inspiration of Mr. Parnell 
the Irish Land League became established, which assumed 
the form of a powerful trade union of the tenant farmers, 
which Mr. Michael Davitt had been very diligent in promot- 
ing. For a time government took no notice of the Irish 
party, but Mr Parnell with his colleague, Mr. Biggar, 
sought to force attention to the great Irish question by a 
policy of obstruction. At the opening of Parliament in 
January, 1881, it was found that the Irish Party could no 
longer be ignored. The condition of Ireland was growing 
more and more distressing. Suffering, want and oppression 
bred, as they always do, hatred, resentment and rebellion. 

The winter was a black one in Ireland. The class of land- 
lords who had swelled the list of evictions, finding them- 



254 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

selves sustained by the aetion of the Lords, ran thorn up 
with freer hand. By the end of the year, there was record 
of 2,110 families turned out on the roadside. The Land 
League, growing in numbers and in power, held meetings 
all over the country, advising tenants whose rents were fixed 
above Griffith's valuation, to pay no rent and passively re- 
si >t eviction. Attention was concentrated on the case of 
Captain Boycott, agent of Lord Erne, farming a considera- 
ble acreage at Lough Mask. He having served notices 
upon some of Lord Erne's tenants, the countryside, with 
one consent, agreed it would hold no communication with 
him. None would work for him. None would sell him 
feed or fetch him water. The Ulster Orangemen responded 
to his cry for help by despatching a body of armed men to 
gather in his imperilled harvest. The unhappy Chief Sec- 
retary apprehending disturbance when the emergency men 
came within pistol shot of the peasants of Connemara, 
hastily despatched a small army to keep the peace. A blow 
Avas struck in another direction, the officials of the Land 
League being indicted for seditious conspiracy. Amongst 
those who stood in the dock on this charge were Mr. Par- 
nell, Mr. Dillon, Mr. T D. Sullivan, Mr. Sexton, and Mr. 
Biggar, all members of the House of Commons. The jury, 
as might have been expected, did not agree on a verdict, 
and amidst the huzzas of the Dublin populace, the prisoners 
were set free. 

A winter of such discontent was not a harbinger of peace 
in the spring. Parliament was summoned to meet on the 
Gth of January, an unusually early date. Of two measures 
in a long list, upon which attention was chiefly centered, both 
related to Ireland. One was a new Coercion bill, the other 
a Land bill, a nicely balancing arrangement which the fatal- 
ity that seemed to dog the steps of the government, suc- 
ceeded in enraging both sections of the Opposition. Mr. 
Gladstone announced that priority should be given to the 



HOME RULE. 255 

Coercion measures, which were divided into two bills, one 
" For the Better Protection of Persons and Property in Ire- 
land," the other Amending the Law relating to the Carrying 
and Possession of Arms. On Monday, 'the 24th January, 
Mr. Forster introduced the Coercion measure, which he stu- 
diously called the Protection Bill. On the next day Mr. 
Gladstone moved a resolution giving priority to the bill till 
it should have passed all its stages. The resolution was carried 
by 251 votes against 33, a conclusion arrived at only at the 
close of a sitting that had lasted uninterruptedly for twenty- 
two hours, in the course of which Mr. Bijrjrar succeeded in 
getting himself suspended under the new rules of procedure 

It was the purpose of this Coercion Bill to put down with 
a strong hand all those who were disturbing the peace of 
Ireland. It was a formidable measure, it practically sus- 
pended the liberties of Ireland. The Irish Party resisted 
the passing of the Bill by every conceivable method of 
obstruction. This ended in the famous suspension of the 
Thirty-Seven Members, a page in Parliamentary history 
that is to be most seriously regretted. 

On the 25th of February, 1881, the Coercion Bill Avas 
passed, and on the 7th of April, Mr. Gladstone introduced 
his Land Bill which was offered as a measure of concilia- 
tion. The bill contained the novel and far-reaching feature 
of the State stepping in between landlord and tenant and 
fixing the rents. It was, notwithstanding some defects, the 
greatest measure of land reform ever passed by the Im 
perial Parliament. The act was to be administered by Land 
Commissioners appointed by the Government. The Irish 
members had no confidenc in the Commissioners. They said 
they would belong almost entirely to the landlord class and 
would defeat the purposes of the act. 

Speaking at Leeds on the 7th October, 1881, Mr. Glad- 
stone uttered an ominous warning. "I have," he said, 
" not lost confidence in the people of Ireland. The progress 



256 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

they have made in many points is to me a proof that we 
ought to rely upon them. But they have dangers and 
temptations and seductions offered to them such as never 
were before presented to a people, and the trial of their 
virtue is severe. Nevertheless, they will have to go 
through that trial ; we have endeavored to pay them the 
debt of justice, and of liberal justice. We have no reason 
to believe they do not acknowledge it. We wish they may 
have the courage to acknowledge it manfully and openly, 
and to repudiate, as they ought to repudiate, the evil coun- 
sels with which it is sought to seduce them from the path of 
duty and of right, as well as of public law and of public 
order. We are convinced that the Irish nation desires to 
take full and free advantage of the Land Act. But Mr. 
Parnell says: 'No, you must wait until I have submitted 
cases ; until I tell you whether the court that Parliament 
has established can be trusted. ' Trusted for what ? Trusted 
to reduce what he says is seventeen millions a year of 
property, to three millions which he graciously allows. 
And when he finds it is not to be trusted for that — and I 
hope in God it is not to be trusted for any such purpose — 
then he will endeavor to work his will by attempting to pro- 
cure for the Irish people the repeal of the Act. But in the 
meantime what says he ? That until he has submitted his 
test cases any farmer who pays his rent is a fool — a danger- 
ous denunciation in Ireland, a dangerous thing to be de- 
nounced as a fool by a man who has made himself the head 
of the most violent party in Ireland, and who has offered 
the greatest temptations to the Irish people. That is no 
small matter. He desires to arrest the operation of the 
Act, to stand as Aaron stood, between the living and the 
dead ; but to stand there, not as Aaron stood, to arrest, but 
to spread the plague. 

' ' These opinions are called forth by the grave state of the 
facts. I do not give them to you as anything more, but 



HOME RULE. 257 

they are opinions sustained by reference to words and to 
actions. They all have regard to this great impending 
crisis in which we depend upon the good sense of the people, 
and in which we are determined that no force, and no fear 
of force, and no fear of ruin through force, shall, so far as 
we are concerned, and as it is in our power to decide the 
question, prevent the Irish people from having the full and 
free benefit of the Land Act. But if, when we have that 
short further experience to which I have referred, it shall 
then appear that there is still to be fought a final conflict 
in Ireland, between law on one side and sheer lawlessness 
on the other. If the law, purged from defect and from any 
taint of injustice, is still to be repelled and refused, and the 
first conditions of political society are to be set at nought, 
then I say with out hesitation that the resources of civilization 
against its enemies are not yet exhausted. I shall recog- 
nize in full, when the facts are ripe — and there ripeness is 
approaching — the duty and responsibility of the Govern- 
ment. I call upon all orders and degrees of men, not in 
these two kingdoms, but in these three, to support the 
Government in the discharge of its duty and in acquitting 
itself of that responsibility. I, for one, in that state of 
facts, relying upon my fellow-countrymen in these three 
nations associated together, have not a doubt of the 
results." 

Mr. Parnell replied at Wexford in a defiant speech, in 
which he characterized Mr. Gladstone's remarks as " un- 
scrupulous and dishonest. " The Irish people, he declared, 
would not rest or relax their efforts till they had regained 
their lost legislative independence. 

Swift on these two speeches fell a heavy blow. On the 
13th of October, Mr. Parnell was arrested in Dublin, 
and carried off to Kilmainham. Mr. John Dillon, Mr. Sex- 
ton and Mr. O' Kelly, members of Parliament, were also 
lodged in Kilmainham with the chief officials of the League. 



258 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

Mr. Egan, the Treasurer of the League, fled to Paris. Mr. 
Biggar and other Irish members escaped the fate of their 
colleagues by keeping out of Ireland. 

When the House of Commons met for the Session of 
1882, the Irish Leader and some of his principal lieutenants 
were still in Kilmainham. Coercion was in full swing. In 
April it was stated in the House of Commons that Mr. For- 
ster had under lock and key not less than six hundred 
persons, imprisoned under the Coercion Acts, Ireland, its 
rights and its wrongs, blazed up fiercely night after night. 

Mr. Forster resigned the post of Chief Secretary for Ire- 
land. Mr. Gladstone appointed Lord Frederick Cavendish 
to succeed him. Mr. Lucy tells in his own graphic way the 
story of the sad tragedy that followed: 

On Saturday morning, the 6th of May, Lord Frederick 
arrived in Dublin to assume his new duties. Late that 
evening the Marquis of Hartington, present at a party given 
at the Admiralty to meet the Duke and Duchess of Edin- 
burgh, was taken aside by a colleague in the Cabinet and 
told that his brother had been murdered. Walking to the 
Viceregal Lodge in company with Mr. Burke, after taking 
part in the State entry of the new Viceroy, Earl Spencer, 
Lord Frederick was fallen upon by a gang of men and 
stabbed in the chest. It was a fair summer evening, so 
light that Lord Spencer, standing at the window of the Vice- 
regal Lodge, saw what he afterwards knew to have been the 
death-struggle. Some boys on bicycles, passing down the 
broad highway, saw the two gentlemen walking and talking 
together. Returning after a spin, they found them lying- 
side by side on the pathway, Mr. Burke stabbed to the 
heart, Lord Frederick with a knife through his right lung. 

This outrage upon the person of an inoffensive man, who 
had gone over to Ireland carrying the olive-leaf of peace, 
created a profound sensation. Mr. Parnell took the earliest 
opportunity of expressing in the House of Commons, on the 



HOME RULE. 259 

part of his friends and himself, and, he believed, on the 
part of every Irishman throughout the world, his detesta- 
tion of the horrible crime committed. Some years later Mr. 
Gladstone incidentally mentioned that the Irish leader had 
privately written to him, o-fering, if he thought it would be 
useful, to retire from public life. In the temper of the 
House and the country there was no difficulty in hurrying 
through Parliament a fresh and more stringent Coercion 
Bill. 

On the 13th of May, 1885, the government announced 
their intention to renew the Spencer-Trevelyan coercion act. 
On the 8th of June the opportunity of the Parnellites 
arrived. In alliance with the Tories they defeated the gov- 
ernment on one of the resolutions of the budget. 

Mr. Gladstone resigned and was succeeded by Lord Salis- 
bury. But the government of Lord Salisbury expired 
after an existence of only eight months. Mr. Gladstone 
was sent for by the Queen, and for the third time he became 
Prime Minister of England. 

On the 8th of April the Grand Old Man, now in his sev- 
enty-seventh year, introduced, in a speech of three hours' 
duration, his Home Rule Bill. At the close of his masterly 
speech friends and foes alike expressed their profound 
admiration of the masterly way in which he set forth the 
provisions of the bill. Many of Mr. Gladstone's old-time 
followers deserted him because of the concessions he made 
to the Irish party. 

On his defeat, the Premier advised the Queen to dissolve 
Parliament, and though her Majesty demurred to the 
trouble of another general election so soon after the last, 
Mr. Gladstone had his way, and Parliament was dissolved 
on June 26th. 

The result of the " appeal to the country" was the return 
of a decided majority against Home Rule ; and thus, after a 
short term of five months in power, Mr. Gladstone found 



2G0 LITE OF GLADSTONE. 

his third Premiership at an end and himself, once more the 
leader of the opposition, Conscious of the fact that no 
great reform had been inaugurated on a first attempt, he 
thenceforward dedicated all his energies to the further in£ 
of the Home Rule cause. The same autumn, before leaving 
England for a holiday rest on the Continent, he issued a 
pamphlet on the Home Rule question, dividing it into two 
sections, called respectively "History of an Idea" and 
" Lessons of the Elections." In May he had issued in the 
form of an address to the electors of Midlothian a manifesto, 
declaring the reasons which had induced him to espouse the 
cause of Home Rule for Ireland. 

In November, 1890, a great disaster occurred to the Irisfi 
party. Its leader, Mr. Parnell, by a set of circumstances 
of which we do not desire to enter into detail, lost his hold 
upon his followers. Before the clean moral sense of Mr. 
Gladstone, it seemed that the only course before Mr. Par- 
nell was to retire. He wrote a letter to Mr. Morley, which 
was intended to be private, but which, fortunately or un- 
fortunately, as the case may be, became public. So much 
has been said about this letter that we deem it desirable to 
insert it in this place : 

"1, Carlton Gardens, Nov. 24, 1890. 

"My dear Morley, — Having - arrived at a certain conclusion 
with regard to the continuance at the present moment of Mr. Par- 
nell's leadership of the Irish party, I have seen Mr. McCarthy on my 
arrival in town, and have inquired from him whether I was likely to 
receive from Mr Parnell himself any communication on the subject. 
Mr. McCarthy replied that he was unable to give me any communica- 
tion on the subject. I mentioned to him that in 1882, after the terri- 
ble murder in Phoenix Park, Mr. Parnell, although totally removed 
from any idea of responsibility, had spontaneously written to me and 
offered to take the Chiltern Hundreds, an offer much to his honor, 
but one which I thought it my duty to decline. 

"While clinging to the hope of a communication from Mr Par- 
nell to whomsoever addressed, I thought it necessary, viewing the 
arrangements for the commencement of the Session to-morrow, to 
acquaint Mr. McCarthy of the conclusion at which, after usiDg all the 
means of observation and reflection in my power, I had myself 






HOME RULE. 261 

arrived. It was that, notwithstanding the splendid services rendered 
by Mr. Parnell to his country, his continuance at the present moment 
in the leadership would be productive of consequences disastrous in 
the highest degree to the cause of Ireland. I think I may be war- 
ranted in asking you so far to explain the conclusion I have given 
above as to add that the continuance which I speak of would not only 
place many hearty and effective friends of the- Irish cause in a posi- 
tion of great embarrassment, but would render my retention of the 
leadership of the Liberal party, based as it has been mainly upon the 
prosecution of the Irish cause, almost a nullity. 

"This explanation of my own view I begged Mr. McCarthy to 
regard as confidential, and not intended for his colleagues generally, 
if he found that Mr. Parnell contemplated spontaneous action. But 
I also begged that he would make known to the Irish party at their 
meeting to-morrow afternoon, that such was my conclusion if he 
should find that Mr. Parnell had not in contemplation any step of 
the nature indicated. 

" I now write to you in case Mr. McCarthy should be unable to 
communicate with Mr. Parnell, as I understand you may possibly 
have an opening to-morrow through another channel. Should you 
have such an opening I would beg you to make known, to Mr. Parnell 
the conclusion itself, which I have stated in the earlier part of this 
letter. I have thought it best to put it in terms simple and direct, 
much as I should have desired had it been within my power to alleviate 
the painful nature of the situation. As respects the manner of con- 
veying what my public duty has made it an obligation to say, I rely 
entirely on your good feeling, tact, and judgment." 

On the 28th of June, 1892, Parliament was once more 
dissolved, and Mr. Gladstone, octogenarian though he was, 
entered on that marvelous Midlothian campaign — a record 
of which will be found in the next chapter — which ranks 
a'mong the most remarkable campaigns of his long, illus- 
trious life. It was a grand, winning fight all along the 
Liberal lines. The election went against the Conservatives, 
who were able to return only 269 members. The Liberal- 
Unionists were now reduced to 46 representatives. The 
Liberals elected 274 members, and the Home Kulers 81, 
making a total in this combination of 355, or a majority 
against the existing moribund government. 

On the 5th of August a new Parliament was opened. 
The Conservative ministers had not resigned. On the raply 



262 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

to the address from the throne a vote of no confidence was 
moved from the Liberal benches. The motion was debated 
three days, and finally carried by a majority of forty. Thus 
ended the Salisbury ministry. Parliament was prorogued 
till the 1st of February, 1893. On the 13th of February 
Mr. Gladstone — for the fourth time Prime Minister of Eng- 
land — brought in his second Home Rule Bill, a complete 
copy of which will be found later on. 

The streets leading to the House of Commons w r ere 
crowded with hundreds of persons anxious to get a glimpse 
of the Prime Minister on his way to the scene of so many 
former oratorical triumphs. As his carriage drove to the 
House, he was greeted with great enthusiasm and lusty 
cheers, which were echoed, as he walked up the floor of the 
House, by the close throng of members. 

At a quarter to four Mr. Gladstone rose, and after re- 
minding the House that for seven years the voices which 
used to plead the cause of Irish government in Irish affairs, 
had been mute within the walls of the House, he proceeded 
to outline the main points of the scheme embodied in the 
Bill which he was asking leave to introduce. The much- 
debated subject as to whether Ireland, if granted a parlia- 
ment of its own, was to continue to send representatives to 
Westminster, is to be solved by its sending eighty members 
with power to vote only on matters of Imperial interest or 
matters affecting Ireland. The " five propositions " of the 
Bill were summed up by Mr. Gladstone thus : 

1 < First, then, Imperial unity was to be observed. Sec- 
ondly, the equality of all the kingdoms w r as to be borne in 
mind. Thirdly, there was to be an equitable repartition of 
Imperial charges. Fourthly, any and every practicable 
provision for the protection of minorities was to be adopted. 
And, fifthly, the plan that was to be proposed was to be 
such as, at least in the judgment of its promoters, presented 
the necessary characteristics— I will not say finality, because 



HOME RULE. 263 

it is a discredited word — but of a real and continuing set- 
tlement. That is the basis on which we continue to 
stand. " 

Then for two and a quarter hours did the Premier unfold 
in detail such parts of the scheme as time allowed, and as 
could be explained in a speech. Never before had the 
House of Commons had a Prime Minister over eighty-three 
years of age ? to deliver a two hours' speech advocating a new 
legislation. And yet the orator, who sixty years earlier, 
had first exercised his gifts in the House, delivered his latest 
speech with all his old fire and verve, making it hard for his 
hearers to realize his great age. This unique oration ended 
with these appealing words : 

' < It would be a misery to me if I had forgotten or omitted 
in these my closing years, any measure possible for me to 
take towards upholding and promoting the cause, which I 
believe to be the cause, not of one party or another, of one 
nation or another, but of all parties and of all nations in- 
habiting these islands; and to these nations, viewing them 
as I do, with all their vast opportunities under a living 
union for power and for happiness, I do entreat you — if it 
were with my latest breath I would entreat you — to let the 
dead bury the dead, and to cast behind you every recollec- 
tion of bygone evils, and to cherish and love and sustain one 
another through all the vicissitudes of human affairs in the 
times that are to come." 

The time for laying down the great burden was at hand. 
His eyesight began to fail, and on the 3rd of March he and 
Mrs. Gladstone went down to Osborne, where he delivered 
up for the last time, his seals of office to the Queen. Her 
Majesty offered, as she had done in 1874, to raise him to 
the peerage as an Earl, but he respectfully declined the 
honor. 

So ended the public life of William Ewart Gladstone, 
England's greatest commoner. 



264 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

Lord Roseberry was sent for to undertake the duty of 
reconstructing the Government. 

In 1886, with Gladstone's return to power, Lord Rose- 
bery attained the Foreign Office. Although he had but a 
short time to prove his fitness for the post, he won general 
approval and throughout all the civilized world became 
known as a statesman of the first rank. 

' ' But he has more stuff in him than will ever find expres- 
sion in Blue Books," was said of him after his life of Pitt 
appeared. He is also a scholar of first rank. In a cabinet 
rich in literary men — Morley, Sir George Trevelyan, and 
Gladstone himself — Lord Rosebery held his own. His style 
is keen and incisive, but careful and full of evidences of 
discriminative research, while now and then he betrays a 
close study of Macauley in his own interminable sentences." 
His learning has won for him the honorary degree of LL. D. 
from Cambridge University; the distinction of being presi- 
dent of the Social Science Congress, Lord Rector of Aber- 
deen University and Lord Rector of Edinburgh University. 

He is proudest of the acts that identify him with the 
people — the equipment of the People's Palace, the improve- 
ment and the importation of farm horses, and the removal 
of religious disabilities from university tests that barred to 
hi«:h honors all but Church of England students. He advo- 
cated the abolition of the catechism from Scotch and Irish 
schools, but the spiritual peers were too much for him there. 
He pulled down squalid huts and tenements and put comfort- 
able homes in their places by the Artisans' Dwelling Act; 
and while thousands of her Majesty's subjects were on the 
verge of starvation, he protested against Lord Beaconsfield's 
bill for conferring the title of Empress of India on the 
Queen as being repugnant to popular feeling at that time, by 
heaping up honors on royalty against the heaped-up misery 
of the people. 



CHAPTER XXIII. 

THE MIDLOTHIAN MANIFESTO. 

Hark to that shrill, sudden shout, 
The cry of an applauding" multitude, 
Swayed by some loud-voiced orator who wields 
The living" mass as if he were its soul ! 

— William Cullen Bryant. 

Thus an admonition when it comes at the proper moment, from 
the lips of a man who enjoys the respect of the world, is often able 
not only to deter men from the commission of crime, but leads them 
into the right path. For when the life of a speaker is known to be 
in unison with his words it is impossible that his advice should not 
have the greatest weight. — Polybius. 

In this chapter we present the entire platform, as we 
should call it in this country, of the memorable Midlothian 
campaign of 1-892. Mr. Gladstone delivered his first ad- 
dress at the Music Hall, Edinborough. It is the most won- 
derful instance of "The Old Man Eloquent" on record. 
This chapter forms an exhaustive text-book of Mr. Glad- 
stone's political philosophy. Mr. Gladstone said: 

' ' The question has been much discussed what the Home 
Rule Bill is to be. Some people have conceived that it was 
a dark and deep secret hatched in our breasts ready to be 
let loose upon the world, all prepared with its clauses and 
its sections, every important principle of it and every unim- 
portant principle of it ready to spring as a surprise upon 
the country. That has been a favorite doctrine of the Tories. 
Well, with regard to the Home Rule Bill, undoubtedly, in 
my opinion, the first duty and the greatest duty of a Liberal 
government, if it should be formed, would be the prepara- 
tion and the introduction of such a bill. It would be a vio- 
lation of every principle we profess, of every pledge we 

265 



266 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

have given for the last six years, if we were to propose to 
adopt any other view than that. With regard to the prin- 
ciples of such a bill, pray let me remind you that even our 
opponents do not say that it would be wise or practicable to 
set out all those particulars; but they sometimes complain 
that they know nothing about the principles upon which it is 
to be founded. Now I state that they know a great deal about 
the principles upon which it is to be founded, and for that 
purpose I go back to the declarations of 1886. Those declara- 
tions it was my duty to make on the part of the government 
of that year, and they have never been retracted, never dis- 
owned, not a word has ever been spoken in the way of reces- 
sion of any one of them. What we stated then was this — 
that the object of such a bill was to give to Ireland full and 
effective control of her own properly local affairs. And 
then it was my duty to state the conditions under which, as 
far as we were concerned, alone, that control could be given, 
and the conditions named by me were five. The first of them 
was the full and effective maintenance of the supremacy of 
Parliament. Now shall I say one word to you upon that 
important phrase ' the supremacy of Parliament ' ? Lord 
Salisbury says it is or will be in the case of Ireland a sham. 
Well, is it a thing unknown to us now beyond the limits of 
our own country ? Have we not scattered over the world a 
number of states, colonial in their origin, which have in 
more than one case swollen to national dimensions ? Is it 
not true that every one of those is subject to the supremacy 
of Parliament ? And I want to know whether you consider 
that that supremacy is or is not a shadow or a fiction. In 
my opinion it is a real, overshadowing, controlling power. 
The second condition was a fair adjustment of pecuniary 
burdens. That seems to have been not made in principle 
the subject of objection. The third condition was the special 
care of minorities. We declared our intention to go all possi- 
ble lengths in considering — ay, in adopting — every reason- 



THE MIDLOTHIAN MANIFESTO. 267 

able method of guarantee to defend the minority as against 
the possibility of injustice, by wise provision in the local 
constitution. We made those declarations without the 
smallest objection from the Nationalists. 

We even went the immense length of saying that possibly 
the counties of Down and Antrim, the only two counties in 
which the Orange feeling appears to be so dominant, that 
the language held and the temper indulged about the 
Nationalists of Ireland — that is, about the body of the 
nation — seem to present the greatest difficulty in the 
way of permanent reconciliation — we even went the 
length of saying that if a proposal were made by Ireland — 
by these counties of Ireland in particular — for the purpose 
of severing them from the rest of their countrymen and 
keeping them under the British Parliament, even that pro- 
posal ought to be entitled to respectful and tender consider- 
ation. That was the third of these conditions. But I am 
bound to say, and I say it in honor of the inhabitants of 
these counties, that, as far as they made any declaration, 
their declaration was ' ' No ; we refuse to be severed from 
the rest of Ireland." 

The fourth condition was — and here we had Scotland 
especially in view — that no principle should be laid down 
for Ireland with respect to which we were not to admit that 
Scotland, if she thought fit, was entitled to claim the bene- 
fit. I say nothing further upon that subject. The same 
course applied to England. What we meant and what we 
contended was that the principle of political equality 
between the three countries in every substantial respect, 
and subject to Imperial laws and considerations, was to 
remain absolute and inviolate. The last condition was that 
we should not propose a mere piecemeal or halfway meas- 
ure, but something which should really constitute a 
substantial settlement of a long and inveterate controversy 
and should give reasonable hope of peace and satisfaction to 



268 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

the country and freedom from the frightful strife and from 
the intolerable burden which that controversy has imposed 
upon us for the last fifty years. He who knows those five 
conditions of a Home Rule Bill, knows already a great deal 
about the Home Rule Bill. One other condition has been 
suggested to us by the voice of public opinion, and in 
respect and deference to that voice has been adopted by us. 
You will readily perceive that I mean the retention of an 
Irish representation at Westminster. That was not our 
opinion, but it was an opinion with respect to which we felt 
these two things — first, that the country was entitled to 
impose it upon us if it thought fit ; and, secondly, that the 
motive upon which it was founded was a motive in which 
we ourselves entirely and absolutely shared — namely, the 
desire that everything should be done to testify to the unity 
of the Empire and the supremacy of Parliament. We have 
never concealed — I do not conceal now — that while the 
retention of Irish members has a most valuable meaning as 
a living assertion of the unity of the Empire, it will and 
must be, attended, as far as we can see, by certain incon- 
veniences. Now I will just point out to you some of the 
questions that arise in regard to this retention of Irish 
members. As to the mode in which they are to be retained, 
one question that arises is, are you to retain a portion of 
them, or are you to retain the whole of them ? I am not 
going to discuss this subject now ; it would be too long and 
must be ineffectual. I am only going to state them as lying 
on the surface of the case, being palpable to every man who 
gives it a moment's serious or practical consideration. The 
first is, shall you retain the whole of the Irish members or 
shall you retain a part ? The next is, shall those who are 
retained vote on all questions coming before Parliament, or 
shall you endeavor, if you can, to make a division of ques- 
tions, and to limit them to one portion, excluding them 
from another portion ? The third is, will you have for Ire- 



THE MIDLOTHIAN MANIFESTO. 269 

land one set of members or two ? As you call it, I think, 
in the arrangement of a mine, will you have one shift of 
laborers or two ? And another is, will you proceed upon 
the basis of the present Parliamentary system in Ireland, 
the present division of the country into districts, and the 
present number of its members, or will you endeavor to 
reconstruct that system and readjust it with reference to its 
relations with England and Scotland or with reference to 
any other consideration ? Now you will at once see that all 
these are practical matters which must be approached in a 
practical spirit. They do not raise difficulties of a character 
to be compared for one instant with the dreadful difficulties 
of the present Irish controversy. 

We scout wholly the preposterous representations of 
those who — mark my words — when we get into this discus- 
sion, will take up these difficulties and exaggerate them and 
endeavor to raise them as objections to the principle of the 
scheme which we all have at heart. They are not of that 
character at all. They are secondary difficulties. They 
may involve, as almost all practical adjustments do involve, 
certain inconveniences. And how are those to be dealt 
with? Why, gentlemen, they are to be dealt with by the 
responsible Ministers of the Crown, and if the result of your 
action and the result of the action of other constituencies 
should be that a Liberal Government is to be established, 
then it will be the obvious duty of that Government to con- 
sider this important subject of the retention of the Irish 
members in conjunction with every other part of the case, 
to make to Parliament the propositions which in detail they 
consider upon the whole the best, and to use every effort in 
their power to carry it into law. Now I hope you will be 
able, both in your own minds and in discourse with others, 
to see how this question stands — a purely practical question, 
a question that ought not to be prematurely decided, a ques- 
tion in respect to which, so far as we know, the country 



270 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

holds to the principle, but has not given any marked pref- 
erence to any particular form of detail. A Liberal 
Government would have to accept that responsibility, and 
would meet that responsibility, as I hope we have in other 
times met like men the responsibilities that have fallen upon 
us. Mr. Gladstone next contrasted the reception of the 
Home Rule proposals by the " educated classes" who were 
said to compose the Unionist party with the spirit with 
which the people of Ireland accepted them, and he concluded 
by speaking upon the subject of the Irish Local Government 
Bill. There never was, he said, a more gross breach of 
faith than the offering of the Local Government Bill to that 
still distracted country. 

Mr. Gladstone visited Glasgow on Saturday for the pur- 
pose of delivering an address to the representatives of the 
Liberal associations of Glasgow and the West of Scotland. 
The Theatre Royal was crowded, and so were the streels 
along the route. In the course of his speech Mr. Gladstone 
referred thus to the Ulster agitation: — The alarmists of 
northeastern Ireland — who constitute the bulk of the popu- 
lation, or the large majority of the population, nowhere 
except in the little narrow strip of country along the north- 
eastern coast — call themselves by the name of Ulster. But 
yet Ulster does not consist of two counties; it consists of 
nine counties. Of these nine counties, four are represented 
exclusively by Home Rulers (cheers); one, the county of 
Tyrone, is equally divided; four have a majority opposed 
to Home Rule, and that majority is concentrated in a great 
degree in the two counties of Down and Antrim. Is it not 
a most astonishing circumstance that apprehension and alarm 
should be so active where the Protestants are in the vast 
majority, and that, on the contrary, where the Protestants 
are scattered in the great bulk of Ireland, almost man by 
man, with immense thousands of Roman Catholics around 
them, these Protestants are perfectly calm, perfectly com 



THE MIDLOTHIAN MANIFESTO. 271 

posed, and make none of those appeals to which our tory 
friends desire to give such extravagant weight? 

Dealing with the danger to civil liberty from ecclesiastical 
power, Mr. Gladstone said : — I am not a man to disparage 
or undervalue such a danger. It exists in many conditions 
of society. It has existed in many religious communities, 
and not the least unnaturally in the Roman Catholic com- 
munion, where the clergy are the best organized, and where 
they are the great distinctive character, as they depend 
upon a foreign centre. This danger of ecclesiastical power 
is supposed to arise from the Roman Catholic priesthood, 
the local clergy in Ireland. That is one source, undoubt- 
edly, from which it may arise. I cannot say that it im- 
presses me with any very great alarms, because I very 
greatly doubt if the power the Roman Catholic priesthood 
in Ireland have over their flocks is as great as it was fifty or 
sixty years ago. (Hear, hear.) We have, thank God, in spite 
of the great bulk of those who are now teaching to us this 
doctrine of danger — we have, thank God, during the inter- 
val redressed with strong hands many of the particular 
grievances of Ireland ; and I believe that the more liberty 
you give to the mass of the Irish people the less risk there 
will or can possibly be of their surrendering that liberty 
into the hands of ecclesiastical power. I do not wish to speak 
with dishonor of the Irish priesthood. I will not speak in 
their disparagement — I have often differed from them 
before and I may differ from them again, but this I know, 
that there never was a clergy that entered more profoundly 
into the deepest wrongs that ever were inflicted by one 
nation upon another (cheers), there never was a clergy which 
secured for itself a more intimate and more truly conse- 
crated place in the hearts of the people. There never was 
a clergy that practically built its power more upon the 
recollection of inestimable services. And if I want to 
diminish the power that thai clergy may have for raising 



272 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

its influence to an abusive height, my secret and nostrum 
for doing that is this — to put the people upon a footing of 
justice in which they will no longer have a motive for seek- 
ing out to themselves extraneous force, but will rest pro- 
tected and happ}^ under the guidance of a beneficent govern- 
ment and of equal laws. 

Mr. Gladstone next spoke of the Maltese marriage ques- 
tion, and read this clause from the draft ordinance: — "A 
marriage (meaning always civil marriages, remember), "a 
marriage between persons who, with a view to elude the 
law of the Catholic Church concerning marriage, have aban- 
doned the Catholic religion is invalid." I call that an 
astounding provision. Surely we understand at this time 
of day that a change under the impulse of conscience from 
one religion to another is a matter of private and personal 
concern (cheers), and that the law cannot interfere between 
the private conscience and the God who ought to rule. Yes, 
but what says this ordinance ? Tavo persons have abandoned 
the Roman Catholic Church; they fall in love with one 
another and contract a marriage, and that marriage may at 
any time under this draft ordinance be questioned, and 
questioned not as it affects spiritual efficacy — let us leave 
that to the Roman Catholic Church — but as to its civil effect 
and as to the legitimacy of the children, that may be 
brought into question and decided in a way we know not 
what in a Maltese court of justice, on the plea that these 
p x pie left the Catholic Church in order to elude the Cath- 
olic Church law. Can you conceive a state of things more 
monstrous ? But this is practically the result of the mission 
of Sir Lintern Simmons, which sprang from Lord Salis- 
bury's Government, and Lord Salisbury's government is 
receiving the allegiance of the Presbyterians, or a large 
part of the Presbyterians of Ireland, who are now soliciting 
you in Scotland to give your confidence as being the per- 



i 



THE MIDLOTHIAN MANIFESTO. 273 

sons best qualified to watch the designs and to restrain the 
excesses of ecclesiastical power. 

On Monday afternoon Mr. Gladstone spoke briefly at Stow. 
A resolution of confidence was passed, with about fifteen dis- 
sentients, an amendment having been proposed to the effect 
that the meeting sorrowfully disapproved of Mr. Gladstone's 
action with regard to the disestablishment of the Church of 
Scotland, and also his policy of Home Rule for Ireland. 

THE LABOR QUESTION. 

At five o'clock Mr. Gladstone addressed a crowded assem- 
blage in the public hall, Gorebridge. The streets all the 
way between the railway station and the hall were decorated 
with flags. The centre flag of a line of bannerets stretched 
across the street bore the inscription "Welcome Gladstone, 
man of God." Mr. Gladstone, on his arrival at the rail- 
way station, was loudly cheered. Preceded by a local band 
which played "Rule Britannia" and "See the conquering 
hero comes," he drove to the Free Church manse, where he 
received a deputation of miners. He afterwards drove to 
the public hall, where he was received with great enthusi- 
asm, and devoted a lengthy address to labor questions. 
After advocating in the interests of the working classes 
registration reform, payment of public election expenses, 
payment of members, and an increased number of Labor 
representatives in the House of Commons, he went on to 
ask: What, then, is it reasonable that the laboring inter- 
est should do with the Liberal party? I will endeavor 
respectfully to point out one thing which they should not 
do. I do not think they ought to fasten themselves to the 
Liberal party so as to qualify their independence. I have 
always told the Irish Nationalists that it was their duty to 
maintain, however closely we may be agreed in regard to 
Irish measures — and I am happy to believe that we are 
thoroughly and heartily agreed — yet I have always told 
them that it was their duty to maintain their position of 



27± LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

independence as Irishmen, and I have told them again and 
again that if the Tories will, in their judgment, do better 
for Ireland than we can, let them go to the Tories. The 
Tories once gave them promises to that effect before an 
election. They believed them, and voted for the Tories at 
that election. The next scene in the drama was the pro- 
posal by the Tories of a Coercion Bill. (Laughter and 
cheers.) But, gentlemen, let the labor party and the 
labor interest maintain their independence; but I should 
be very sorry to say that laboring men are not to vote for 
Liberals when they think that Liberals are the fairest and 
best representatives of their interests. Referring to his 
interview with the miners, Mr. Gladstone said: I would 
not wish to have mining interests and feelings represented 
either here or elsewhere by persons either more temperate 
or apparently more competent and qualified in every respect 
to do them full justice. I thank you for having given me the 
immediate opportunity of communication which, although 
it was succinct, was most interesting and most valuable. 

As for strikes, Mr. Gladstone went on to say, they are a 
rough, costly, and wasteful proceeding. But that which is 
evil in itself is often a relative good under the conditions of 
human life when it prevents a greater evil, and, though in 
my own mind I may be wrong and have no other faculty 
of judgment than may obtain in a greater degree with other 
psopie, upon the whole I believe that that rough-and-ready 
and costly instrument has done much in the long run in se- 
curing the rights and raising the condition of working men. 
Do not let me be misunderstood. I hope we may get to 
something better, something cheaper, something more 
effective; but I am not one of those who are prepared to say 
that the laboring classes of this country have been either 
uniformly or generally unwise in resorting to that method 
when they thought they had a just and a substantial cause 
and when they had no other instrument open to them. 



THE MIDLOTHIAN MANIFESTO. 275 

(Cheers.) There is another instrument of great importance 
to the laboring classes that I cannot help valuing very highly 
indeed, and that is the method of co-operation both for dis- 
tributive and for productive purposes. The hours of labor 
question Mr. Gladstone dealt with thus : However, we all 
look back with unbounded satisfaction rpon the great prog- 
ress that has been made by voluntary arrangement in that 
vitally important process which is now sp3cially before you 
— namely, the shortening of the hours of labor. (Hear, 
hear.) You must allow me, if you please, to say one word 
upon the proposals for a general shortening of the hours of 
labor. I had the advantage of a long and tolerably tough 
discussion a few weeks ago in London with the representa- 
tives of a movement, and an important movement, for se- 
curing the adoption of a general compulsory Eight Hours' 
Bill. In my opinion that deputation clearly had not meas- 
ured accurately the difficulties — I would almost say, at the 
present moment, the impossibility — of so vast a measure. 
I do not think that they had fully considered the enormous 
variations that prevail between different kinds and classes 
of labor. I do not think that they had accurately estimated 
the amount of legal and Parliamentary interference which a 
law such as they were disposed to recommend would require 
in what is now perfectly free — namely, the nature aul 
character of trade organization. But what I ventured to 
tell those gentlemen I repeat to you. 



THE EIGHT HOURS' QUESTION. 

If the consent or refusal of the majority of a given trade 
was to determine the lengths of legal labor, and to entail 
the infliction of a legal penalty by a sentence of a court of 
justice, in order to come at that state of things which they 
did not appear to me to have at all considered, you would 
be obliged to fix the conditions of a trade organization which 
was to say that ay or no as rigidly by law as you now fix 



276 L1EE OF GLADSTONE. 

the conditions of a constituency of a county. I lay that 
before you as a practical consideration very' far from being 
a matter connected with any question of political excitement 
or of party interest. But now I will tell you my interpre- 
tation of that movement in London, which I think is very, 
very far indeed as yet from being a general movement of 
the laboring classes in favor of a universal eight hour day. 
My idea of it is this — that it is not at all a thing to be com- 
plained of, not at all to be regretted, though I was obliged 
to point out difficulties rather than to hold out any prema- 
ture encouragement, for in my opinion that man is a bad 
friend of the working class who holds out encouragements 
which are or may be premature. He tempts them to walk 
upon slippery paths where they may have very awkward 
falls, or where they may feel impediments in their way on 
which they had not reckoned. (Hear, hear.) That is the 
spirit in which I should always rather wish to spsak, to make 
my conversations or my speeches to laboring men somewhat 
less favorable than my own views really are, rather than to 
put an appearance favorable to them which I might not 
afterwards be able entirely to sustain. The way in which I 
interpret that universal eight hours' movement is this. It 
was supported in a general way by a large mass meeting of 
laboring men in Hyde Park. I do not treat it as an insig- 
nificent phenomenon at all. I think there is a good deal of 
substance and meaning in it, and the substance and meaning 
I think are, then, these — the indeterminate, if I may so say, 
the inarticulate expression of a sentiment which is strong, 
substantial, and just. 

The feeling of the laboring man on the eight hours' move- 
ment, if I might consider the whole of those who support it 
as concentrated into one individual, is this — he knows, the 
laboring man knows, that in time past distribution between 
labor and capital, the distribution of the profits of produc- 
tion, in his opinion, has not been equitably made. Capita] 






THE MIDLOTHIAN MANIFESTO. 2 77 

has had too much and labor has had too little. I have not a 
doubt that in the vast majority of cases, if we look widely 
and comprehensively over the past, tha^t in that partnership 
—for it always has been a p irtnership— between capital and 
labor capital has had too much, and a great deal too much, 
and labor has had too little, and in many cases a great deal 
too little, a lamentable deal too little. We ought not to be 
content with showing that it is premature and perhaps im- 
possible to propose — at any rate most certainly premature 
to propose — an Eight Hours' Bill for all descriptions and 
kinds of labor throughout the community. We ought not 
to be content with that. We ought to do more. We ought 
to get at that which is substantial and reasonable in the 
workman's mind, and see if we cannot aid him in making- 
some progress in the road which he desires to go. The sub- 
ject of a miners' eight hours is undoubtedly in various par- 
ticulars, and from many points of view, a very different 
subject, a far more accessible subject, and a far more hope- 
ful subject than the subject of a universal Eight Hour Bill. 
All men are heartily united in the doctrine that eight hours 
below ground out of twenty-four on six days — if on five 
days so much the better — is enough for a human being. 
(Cheers.) First of all, are the mining classes practically 
unanimous 1 Well, I received in this very place and in the 
House of Commons from one whom you much respect a most 
interesting assurance on that subject, so far as this district 
is concerned. I was assured that in every colliery except 
one in this immediate district the eight hours' system is es- 
tablished by the consent both of employers and of laborers, 
and that it works admirably well (cheers), having for its re- 
sults even this — about which some might have been scepti- 
cal — an increase of output, and not a decrease. (Hear, hear.) 
Now supposing, as it is here, there is a unanimity — except 
in the case of a particular employer — of the men in this dis- 
trict; supposing, on the other hand, that the miners of 



278 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

Northumberland and Durham adhere to their doctrine and 
offer a united front in objection to the universal Eight Hours 
Miners' Bill. Then I am led to ask myself this question — 
Would it be possible to introduce into the mining business, 
for the purpose of imposing locally an eight hours' limit, 
that which is called in the case of the liquor laws local op- 
tion ? (Cheers.) I do not presume to give you a positive 
opinion. All I can say is that until universal unanimity 
has prevailed, and in cases where local unanimity exists, I 
should be very glad indeed to see that principle of local 
option made available to avoid the difficulty of violent inter- 
ference with the individual freedom of bodies of men that 
are unwilling to give it up, and on the other hand, to give 
full scope to the honorable and legitimate aspirations of the 
miners of a district like this, who value the eight hours for 
high social and moral purposes and who are unanimous in 
their desire to attain it. 

On Tuesday Mr. Gladstone went to Dalkeith, and spoke 
chiefly on Scottish Home Rule and disestablishment. The 
case of Scotland, he said, was different from that of Ire- 
land. Mr. Gladstone continued: Scotland enjoys, happily, 
a system of justice and administration which is in itself as 
truly national as the system of justice and administration 
in England is truly English. Scotland differs, happily, in 
that respect. Scotland has the most harmonious and the 
most complex relations with England. I do not know what 
shape, I do not venture to predict or forecast what shape, 
the mediation of Scotland will finally take upon this sub- 
ject of satisfaction for Scotch nationality; but this I un- 
doubtedly will say, that the practical working of the present 
system is by no means what it ought to be, and beyond all 
doubt it is our business to maintain the perfect national 
right of Scotland to ask from the Imperial Parliament, and 
to obtain from the Imperial Parliament, whatever in her 
ultimate and thoroughly reasoned conviction she finds to be 



THE MIDLOTHIAN MANIFESTO. ST9 

necessary for her welfare. I hope I have spoken plainly 
upon that subject, but I have told you that the present 
system does not work satisfactorily, and I am going to illus- 
trate that in a way that I think you will understand toler- 
ably well. I will tell you what my great complaint with 
the present system is. My great complaint is that when 
there is an anti-Liberal majority — and I use the word anti- 
Liberal because it saves me the trouble of using two names, 
which express the same thing (cheers), one of which would 
be Tory and the other Dissentient Liberal; I call them 
both anti-Liberal — well, whenever there is an anti-Liberal 
majority the vote of Scotland is put down by that anti- 
Liberal majority. Now, that, in my opinion, is a serious 
national grievance. 

"I have spoken plainly on the subject of Scottish nation- 
ality, and now I come to anothei subject — namely, dises- 
tablishment (cheers) — and on that subject no man can accuse 
me of any want of frankness. I will tell you upon that, 
as upon other matters, exactly what I think, what I have 
done, and why I have done it. The first question is, what 
did I promise to do ? This question was alive even when I 
first came into Mid Lothian. I saw it stated, because I 
believe a casual inadvertence of a friend of my own, who 
undertook the very difficult task of editing four volumes of 
my speeches made in Scotland, gave some color to the doc- 
trine which has been stated, that I said the question of dis- 
establishment or establishment in Scotland can never be 
considered with propriety, excepting when the general 
election had been based upon that issue as its principal issue. 
Why, I should have been mad if I had said anything of the 
kind. I never did say anything of the kind. What I said 
was this — that the question of Scottish disestablishment 
ought not to be carried by storm ; that there ought to be 
ample opportunity for bringing it home to the mind of 
every Scotsman, that it should have full, sufficient, effectual 



280 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

consideration. That is what I said, and what I say now 
(cheers); and I promised that I at any rate would take no 
part in promoting Scottish disestablishment, until in my 
opinion that condition had been realized. Well, that was 
the first thing. What have I done ? This is what I have 
done. I came here in 1879, and in 1886 Mr. Finlay pro- 
posed a bill intended to prop up the Established Church of 
Scotland. The votes against that bill were not conclusive, 
but they showed that Scottish opinion were not in his favor. 
I took no part — I had regarded this as an entirely Scottish 
question — and I determined to take no part until I knew 
what Scottish electors desired and required. In 1888 a 
regular division was taken, and three-fifths — more than 
three-fifths, I think — of the Scottish members voted in favor 
of disestablishment. (Cheers.) When in 1890 the great 
question came forward I was aware that disestablishment 
would be supported by a still larger majority. I had kept 
my eyes open, and I had observed its effect. First of all, 
the majority had increased, and it was known it was going 
to increase, on the approximate question, from three-sixths 
to two to one — that is, two-thirds. Secondly, proof of the 
deep interest of Scotland in the matter, and a proof how 
thoroughly Scotsmen had attended to it was given in this 
way? Scotland having, I think, seventy-two members for 
her share, no less than sixty-seven Scottish members took 
part in the division, and those sixty-seven Scottish members 
voted in the proportion of forty-three to twenty-four, or 
nearly two to one. And I observed another fact, and it 
was this — that Scotland, of course, had her share of vacan- 
cies, and her share of bye-elections happily resulted in the 
return of Liberals, and that invariably those Liberals were 
advocates of disestablishment. If I was to give fair weight 
to Scottish opinion could I overlook these facts ? In 1890 
I fell into the ranks behind Dr. Cameron, and in those 
ranks I continue. " 



CHAPTER XXIV. 
Ireland:— mr. Gladstone's home rule bill. 

Tyranny 
Is far the worst of treasons. Dost thou deem 
None rebels except subjects-? The prince who 
Neglects or violates his trust, is more 
A brigand than the robber-chief. 

— Lord Byron. 

Mr. Gladstone's sympathies were with humanity. His aspira- 
tions were toward the everlasting* right. In measurably realizing 
this right in practical and political affairs he had to be expedient. 
But between right and expediency there is no necessary conflict. A 
truly great man is he who can be so expedient that the right shall 

u'timately prevail. 

— Bishop Fallows. 

When Edmund Burke died in 1797, Canning wrote: "There is but 
one event, but it is an event of the world; Burke is dead." And now 
that Gladstone hath passed from the strife of politics to where beyond 
these voices there is rest and peace, England and America have but 
one heart; that heart is very sore. For this man, who reverenced his 
conscience as his king, was also one whose "glory was redressing 
human wrong." At once the child of genius, wealth and power, this 
young patrician took as his clients not the rich and great, but the 
poor and weak. _ m Hm ^ 

We have no apology to offer for presenting Mr. Glad- 
stone's Home Rule Bill verbatim. It ranks among the few 
great national documents of world-wide and permanent 
interest. It belongs to that group that includes Magna 
Charta, the Bill of Rights, the Declaration of Independence, 
and the Proclamation of Emancipation. It will be studied 
for generations by all lovers of freedom. We count it 
among the grandest efforts of that colossal brain and that 
great heart large as humanity which has just been taken 
from us. 

281 



282 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

The following is the full text of Mr. Gladstone's Home 
Rule Bill as presented to Parliament, and issued to the 
members thereof in printed form : 

Whereas, It is expedient that without impairing" or restricting 1 the 
supreme authority of Parliament, an Irish Legislature be created for 
such purposes in Ireland as are in this Act mentioned; be it therefore 
enacted by the Queen's most excellent Majesty, by and with the advice 
and consent of the lords spiritual and temporal and commons, in th'.s 
present Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same as 
follows: 

1. On and after the appointed day there shall be estaVished in 
Ire and a Legislature consisting* of her Majesty the Queen and two 
houses, a legis ative council and a legis'ative assembly 

2. With the exceptions and subject to the restrictions in this Act 
mentioned, there shall be granted to the Irish Legislature power to 
make laws for the peace, order and good government of Ireland in 
respect to matters exclusively relating" to Ireland or some part 
thereof. 

3 The Irish Legislature shall not have the power to make laws 
in respect to the following matters or any of them: The status of 
d gnity of the crown or regency; the Lord Lieutenant as representa- 
tive of the crown; the making of peace or war; matters arising from 
a state of war; the naval or military forces, or the defense of the 
rea m; treaties and other relations with foreign Sates, or the rela- 
tions between the different parts of her Majesty's dominions, or 
offenses connected with such treaties; dignities or titles of honor; 
treason or treason-fe^ny; alienage or naturalization; trade with any 
place out of Ireland; quarantine or navigation: except in respect to 
inland w r aters; local health or harbor regulations; beacons, light- 
houses or seamarks, except so far as they can consistently with any 
general Act of Parliament be constructed or maintained by loca' 
harbor authority; coinage; legal tender; standard weights and 
measures; trade marks: merchandise marks; copyr'ght of patent 
rights. Any law made in contravention to t' is section shall be 
void. 

POWERS OF THE IRISH PARLIAMENT. 

4. The powers of the Irish Legislature shall not extend to the 
making of any law respecting the establishment or endowment of 
religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, imposing any disa- 
bility or conferring any privi'ege on account of religious belief or 
abrogating or prejudicially affecting the right to establish or main- 
tain any place of denominational education or any denominational 
institution or charity, or prejudicially affecting the right of any child 



IRELAND! — MR. GLADSTONE'S HOME RULE BILL. 2S3 

to attend a school receiving" public money without attending" the 
religious instruction at the school, or whereby any person may be 
deprived of life, liberty, or property without due process of law. 

5. The executive power of Ireland shall continue to be vested in 
the Queen. The Lord Lieutenant, on behalf of her Majesty, shall 
e ercise any prerogatives other than the executive power of the 
Queen, which may be delegated to him by her Majesty, and shall, in 
her Majesty's name, summon, prorogue, and disso ve the Irish Legis- 
lature. 

6. The Irish Legislative Council shall consist of forty-eight coun- 
cilors. Each of the constituencies mentioned in the first schedule of 
this Act shall return the number of councilors named opposite thereto 
in the schedule. Every man shall be entitled to be registered as an 
elector, and when registered to vote at the election of the councilor 
for a constituency, who owns or occupies land or a tenement in the 
constituency of the ratable value of more than twenty pounds, sub- 
ject to like conditions as the man who is entitled at the passage of 
the Act to be registered and to vote as a parliamentary elector with 
respect to ownership qualification; or provided that a man shall not 
be entitled to be registered, nor if registered to vote at the election 
of a councilor in more than one constituency in the same year. The 
term of office of every councilor shall be eight years. They shall not 
be affected by dissolution Half the counci ors shall retire every 
fourth year, and their seats shall be filled by a new election. 

LIFE OF 1 THE LEGISLATURE. 

7. The Irish legislative assembly shall consist of members 
returned by the existing parliamentary constituencies of Ireland or 
the existing divisions thereof and elected by the parliamentary elect- 
ors in those constituencies. The Irish legislative assembly when 
summoned may, unless sooner dissolved, have continuance for five 
years from the day on which the summons directs it to meet, and no 
longer. 

8. After six years from the passing of the Act, the Irish legisla- 
ture may alter the qua'ifications of e ectors and constituencies, pro- 
vided that in such distribution due regard be had for the population 
of the constituencies. If a bill or any provision of a bill adopted by 
the legislative assembly be lost by the disagreement of the legislative 
council, and after dissolution, or a period of two years from such disa- 
greement, such bill or a bill for enacting said provisions be again 
adopted by the legislative assembly, and fails within three months 
afterward to be adopted by the legislative coun il, the same shall 
forthwith be submitted to the members of the two houses deliberating 
and voting together thereon, and shall be adopted or rejected, accord- 
ing to the decision of a majority of thosp members on the question. 



2 Si • LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

9. Unless and until Parliament otherwise determines, the follov* 
iug provisions shall have effect : Each of the constituencies named 
in the second schedule shall return to serve in Parliament the number 
of members named opposite thereto in that schedule and no more. 
Dublin University shall cease to return a member. The existing 
divisions of the constituencies shall, save as provided in that schedule, 
be abolished. An Irish representative peer in the House of Lords and 
a member in the House of Commons for an Irish constituency shall 
not be entitled to deliberate or vote on any bill or motion in relation 
thereto, the operation of which bill or motion is confined to Great 
Britain or some part thereof ; and any motion or resolution relating 
solely to a tax not raised or to be raised in Ireland, or any vote on an 
appropriation of money made exclusively for some services not men- 
toned in the third schedule; any motion or resolution referring 
exclusively to Great Britain or some part thereof, or some local 
authority, or some person or thing therein. Any motion incidental 
to such motion or resolution, either as last mentioned or that relates 
solely to s >me tax not raised in Ireland, or incidental to any such 
vote or appropriation of money aforesaid in c mpliance with the pro- 
visions of this section shall not be questioned otherwise than in each 
House, in the manner provided by the House. 

QUALIFICATIONS OF ELECTORS. 

The election laws and laws relating to the qualification of Parlia- 
mentary electors shall not, so far as they relate to Parliamentary 
electors, be altered by the Irish leg slature, but this enactment shall 
not prevent the Irish legislature from dealing with any officers con- 
cerned with the issue of writs of election. If any officers are so 
dealt with it shall be lawful for her Majesty in council to arrange 
for the issue of such writs. Writs issued in pursuance of such orders 
shall be of the same effect as if issued in the manner heretofore 
accustomed. 

IRISH FINANCES. 

10. There shall be an Irish exchequer and consolidated fund 
separate from the United Kingdom. The duties of customs and excise 
and the duties of postage shall be imposed by act of Parliament, but 
subject to the provisions of this act The Irish Legislature may in 
order to provide for the public service in Ireland impose other taxes, 
save as in this act mentioned. All matters relating to taxes in 
Ireland and the collection and management therof shall be regulated 
by Irish act. The same shall be collected and managed by the Irish 
government and shall form part of the public revenues of Ireland, 
provided that duties and customs shall be regulated, collected, man- 
aged and paid into the exchequer of the United Kingdom as hereto- 
fore, and all prohibitions in connection with duties and excise, and 
«q far as regards articles sent out of Ireland, and all matters relating 



IRELAND : MR. GLADSTONE'S HOME RULE BILL. 285 

to those duties shall be regulated by act of Parliament Excise 
du'ies on articles consumed in Great Britain shall be paid in Great 
Britain, or to an officer of the government of the United Kingdom, 
save as in the act mentioned. All public revenues in Ireland shall be 
paid into the Irish exchequer and for a consolidated fund appropri- 
ated to the public service of Ireland by Irish act. If the duties of 
excise are increased above the rates in force on the first day of March, 
the net proceeds in Ireland of the duties in excess of said rates shall 
be paid from the Irish exchequer to the exchequer of the United 
Kingdom. If the duties of excise are reduced below the rates in 
force on said day, and the net proceeds of such duties in Ireland are 
in consequence less than the net proceeds of the duties before reduc- 
tion, a sum equal to the deficiency shall, unless otherwise agreed 
between the treasury and the Irish government, be paid from the 
exchequer of the United Kingdom into the Irish exchequer. 

PROTECTING ROYAL PREROGATIVES. 

11. The hereditary revenues of the crown in Ireland, which are 
managed by the Commissioners of her Majesty's woods, forests, and 
land revenues, shall continue during the life of her present Mr.jesty 
and shall be managed and collected by those Commissioners. The 
net amount payable by them to the exchequer on account of those 
revenues, after deducting all expenses, but including an allowance 
for interest on such proceeds of the sale of those revenues as have not 
been reinvested by Ireland, shall be paid into the treasury account 
(Ireland) hereinafter mentioned, for the benefit of the Irish 
exchequer. 

RELATING TO TAXATION. 

A person shall not be required to pay an income tax in Great 
Britain in respect to property situate or business carried on in Ire- 
land, and a person shall not be required to pay an income tax in 
Ireland in respect to property situate or business carried on in Great 
Britain. For the purpose of giving Ireland the benefit o< the differ- 
ence between the income tax collected by Great Britain from the 
British Colonial and foreign securities held by residents of Ireland 
and the income tax collected by Ireland from Irish securities held by 
residents of Great Britain, there shall be made to Ireland out of the 
income tax collected in Great Britain an allowance of such an amount 
as may from time to time be determined by the treasury, in accord- 
ance with a minute of the treasury laid before Parliament. Before 
the appointed day such allowance shall be paid into the treasury 
account (Ireland) for the benefit of the Irish exchequer, provided that 
the provisions of this section with respect to the income tax shall not 
apply to any excess in the income tax of Great Britain above the rate 
of Ireland or to the rate of the income tax of Ireland above the rate 
of Great Britain. 



286 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

DUTIES AND CUSTOMS. 

12. The duties and customs contributed by Ireland and (save as 
provided in this act) that portion of the public revenues of the United 
Kingdom to which Ireland may claim to be entitled, whether speci- 
fied in the third schedule or not, shall be carried to the consolidated 
fund of the United Kingdom as the contribution of Ireland to imperial 
liabilities and expenditures, as defined in the schedule. The civil 
charges of the government of Ireland shall be subject, as in this act 
mentioned, to be borne after the appointed day by Ireland. After 
fifteen years from the passage of this act the arrangements made by 
the act for the contribution of Ireland to imperial liabilities and 
expenditure, and otherwise for the financial relations of Ireland, may 
be revived in pursuance of an address to Her Majesty from the House 
of Commons or from the Irish assembly. 

HOW THE BOOKS SHALL BE KEPT. 

lft. There shall be established under the direction of the treas- 
ury an account, in this act referred to as ' ; treasury account " (Ire- 
land). There shall be paid into such account all sums payable from 
the Irish exchequer to the exchequer of the United Kingdom, or from 
the latter to the former exchequer. All sums directed to be paid into 
such account for the benefit of either of said exchequers, and all 
sums which are payable from either of said exchequers to the other 
of them, or, being payable out of one of said exchequers, are payable 
by the other exchequer, shall in the first instance be payable out of 
said account. So far as the money standing on account is sufficient 
for the purpose of meeting such sums, the treasury, out of the cus- 
toms revenues collected in Ireland, and the Irish government, out of 
any public revenues of Ireland, may direct money to be paid into the 
treasury account (Ireland) instead of into the exchequer. Any sur- 
plus standing on account of the credit of either exchequer, and not 
required for meeting payments, shall at convenient times be paid 
into that exchequer. Any sum so payable into the exchequer of the 
Uni ed Kingdom is required by law to be forthwith paid to the 
National Debt Commissioners, that sum paid maybe to those Commis- 
sioners without being paid into the exchequer All sums payable by 
virtue of this act out of the consolidated fund of the United Kingdom 
or of Ireland, shall be payable from the exchequer of the United 
Kingdom or of Ireland, as the case may be, within the meaning of 
this act. All sums by this act made payable from the exchequer of 
the United Kingdom, shall, if not otherwise paid, be charged on or 
paid out of the consolidated fund of the United Kingdom. 

CHAKGES AGAINST THE IRISH EXCHEQUER. 

14. There shall be charged on the Irish consolidated fund in 
favor of the exchequer of the United Kingdom, as a first charge on 



IRELAND : MR. GLADSTONE'S HOME RULE BILL. 287 

that fund, all sums which are payable to that exchequer from the Irish 
exchequer, or are required to repay to the exchequer of the United 
Kingdom sums issued to meet dividends or sinking- fund on guar- 
anteed land stock under the purchase of land in Ireland act of 1891, 
or otherwise have been or are required to be paid out of the ex- 
chequer of the United Kingdom in consequence of the non-payment 
thereof out of the exchequer of Ireland or otherwise by the Irish 
government. If at any time the Comptroller or Auditor-General of 
the United Kingdom is satisfied that any such charge is due, he shall 
certify the amount, and the treasury shall send such certificate to the 
Lord Lieutenant, who shall thereupon by order, without counter- 
signature, direct the payment of the amount from the Irish exchequer 
to the exchequer of the United Kingdom, and such order shall be 
duly obeyed by all persons. Until the amount is wholly paid no 
other payment shall be made out of the Irish exchequer for any pur- 
pose whatever. There shall be charged on the Irish consolidated 
fund next after the foregoing charge all funds for dividends or sink- 
ing fund on guaranteed land stock, under the purchase of land in Ire- 
land act of 1891, which t'.e land purchase account and guarantee 
fund were insufficient to pay; all sums due with respect to any debt 
incurred by the government of Ireland, whether for interest, man- 
agement, or for sinking fund; an annual sum of £5,000 for the ex- 
penses of the household and establishment of the Lord Lieutenant, 
all existing charges on the consolidated fund of the United Kingdom 
in respect to Irish services, other than the salary of the Lord Lieu- 
tenant, the salaries and pensions of all judges of the Supreme Court, 
or other superior courts of Ireland or any county, or other like court 
who may be appointed after the passing of the act, and are not ex- 
chequer judges hereafter mentioned. Until all charges created by 
the act upon the Irish consolidated fund and f r the time being due 
are paid, no money shall be issued by the Irish exchequer for any 
other purpose whatever. 

CHARGES ON CHURCH PROPERTY. 

15. All existing charges on Church property in Ireland, that is, 
all property accruing under the Irish Church Act of 1869 and trans- 
ferred to the Irish Land Commission by the Irish Church Amendment 
Act of 1881, shall, so far as not paid out of said property, be charged 
on the Irish consolidated fund. Any of these charges guaranteed by 
the treasury, if and so far as not paid, shall be paid out of the exche- 
quer of the United Kingdom. Subject to existing charges thereon, 
said church property shall belong to the Irish government and shall 
be managed, administered, and disposed of as directed by Irish Act. 

16. All sums paid or applicable in or toward the discharge of the 
interest or principal of any local loan advanced before the appointed 
day, on the security of Ireland or otherwise, in respect to such loan, 



288 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

which but for the Act would be paid to the National Debt Commis- 
sioners and carried to the Local Loans Fund, shall, after the 
appointed day, be paid, until otherwise provided by Irish Act, into 
the Irish exchequer for payment to the Local Li.ans Fund of the 
principal and interest of such loans The Irish Government shall 
after the appointed day pay, by half-yearly payments, an annuity for 
forty-nine years, at the rate of 14 per cent, on the principal of said 
loans, exclusive of any sums written off before the appointed day for 
the account of the assets of the Local Loans Fund. Such annuity 
shall be paid from the Irish exchequer to the exchequer of the United 
Kingdom, and when so paid shall forthwith 1 e paid to the National 
Debt Commissioners for the credit of the Local Loans Fund. After 
the appointed day the money for the loans to Ireland shall cease to 
be advanced either by the Public Works Loan Commissioners or out of 
the Local Loans Fund. 

RELATING TO THE SETTLEMENT OF ESTATES. 

17. So much of any act as directs the payment to the local taxa- 
tion (Ireland) account of any share of probate, excise of customs 
duties payable to the exchequer of the United Kingdom shall, together 
with any enactment amending" the same be repealed as from the 
appointed day, without prejudice to the adjustment of balances after 
that day, but 1 ke amounts shall continue to be paid on the local tax- 
ation accounts in England and Scotland as would have been paid if 
this act Lad not passed. Any residue of said shares shall be paid into 
the exchequer of the United Kingdom. Stamp duties, chargeable in 
respect to the personality of a deceased person, shall not in case the 
administration was granted by Great Britain be chargeable in re- 
spect to any personality situate in Ireland, nor in case administra- 
tion be granted in Ireland be chargeable with respect to personality 
situate in Great Britain. Any administration granted in Great 
Britain shall not, if resealed in Ireland, be exempt from stamp duty 
on administration granted in Ireland. Any administration granted 
in Ireland shall not, if resealed in Great Britain, be exempt from 
stamp duty on administration granted in Great Britain. 

18. Bills appropriating any part of the public revenue or for 
imposing a tax, shall originate in the legislative assembly. It shall 
not be lawful for the legislative assembly to adopt or pass a vote, 
resolution, address, or bill for an appropriation for any purpose or 
any tax except in pursuance of the recommendation of the Lord Lieu- 
tenant in the session wherein such vote, resolution, address, or bill 
is proposed. 

THE JUDICIARY. 

19. Two Judges of the Supreme Court of Ireland shall be exchequer 
judges. They shall be appointed under the great seal of the United 
Kingdom. Their salaries and pensions shall be charged to and paid 



IRELAND : MR. GLADSTONE'S HOME RULE BILL. 289 

out of the consolidated fund of the United Kingdom. The exchequer 
judges shall be removable only by her Majesty on an address from 
the two houses of Parliament. Each such Judge shall, save as other- 
wise provided by Parliament, receive the sa 1 e salary and be entitled 
to the same pension as at the time of his appointment, fixed for puisne 
judges of the Supreme Court, and during his continuance in office, his 
sal >ry shall not be diminished or his right to a pension altered with- 
out his consent. Alterations of any rules relating to such legal pro- 
ceedings as mentioned in this section, shall not be made except with 
the approval of her Majesty in council. The sittings of the excheq- 
uer judges shall be regulated by like approval. All legal proceed- 
ings in Ireland which are instituted at the instance of or against the 
treasury or the commissioners of customs or their officers, or which 
relate to the election of members of Parliament, or touch a matter 
not within the powers of the Irish legislature, or touch a matter 
affected by a law which the Irish legisla ure has not power to repeal 
or alter, shall, if so required by any party to such proceedings, be 
heard and determined before exchequer judges or, except where the 
case requires to be determined by two judges before one of them. In 
such legal proceedings an appeal shall, if any party so requires, lie 
from any court of first instance in Ireland to the exchequer j dges. 
The decision of the exi hequer judges shall be subject to appeal to 
the Queen in council and not to any other tribunal. If it is made to 
appear to an exchequer judge that any decree or judgment in such 
proceeding as aforesaid is not duly enforced by the sheriff, or other 
officer whose duty it is to enforce the same, such judge shall appoint 
an officer whose duty it shall be to enforce that judgment. For that 
purpose that officer and all persons employed by him shall be entitled 
to the same privileges, immunities, and powers as are by law con- 
ferred upon the sheriff and his officers. Exchequer judges when not 
engaged in hearing and determining such legal proceedings above 
mentioned shall perform such duties ordinarily performed by other 
judges of the Supreme Court of Ireland as maybe assigned by the 
Queen in council. All sums recovered by the treasury or the com- 
missioners of customs or their offices, or recovered under any act 
relating to customs, shall, notwithstanding anything in any other 
act, be paid to such public ac ount as the treasury or the commis- 
sioner of customs shall direct. 

MEANS OF COMMUNICATION. 

20. From the appointed day the postal and telegraph service of 
Ireland shall be transferred to the Irish Government, and may be 
regulated by Irish act, e* cept as in this act mentioned and except as 
regards matters relating to such conditions of transmission and de- 
livery of postal packets and telegrams as are incide- tal to duties on 
postage, or foreign mails, or submarine telegraphs^ or through lines 



200 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

in connection therewith, or any other postal or telegrar hie business 
in connection with places out of the United Kingdom. The adminis- 
tration incidental to said excepted matters shall, save as may other- 
wise be arranged with the Irish postoffice, rema'n with the Postmaster 
General. As regards revenue and expenses of the postal telegraph 
service, the Postmaster General shall retain the revenues collected 
and defray the expenses incurred in Great Britain, and the Irish post- 
office shall retain the revenue collected and defray the expenses in- 
curred in Ireland, subject to the fourth schedule of this act, which 
schedule shall be in full effect, but may be varied or added to by 
agreement between the Postmaster General and the Irish postoffice. 
Sums payable by the Postmaster General or the Irish postoffice to the 
other of them in the pursuance of this act shall, if not paid out of the 
postoffice money, be paid from the exchequer of the United Kingdom 
or of Ireland, as the case require, to the other exchequer. Sections 
48 to 52 of the telegraphic act of 1863 and any enactment amending 
the same shall apply to all telegraphic lines of the Irish Government 
in a like manner as telegraphs of the company within the meaning 
of the act. 

REGULATING POSTAL SAYINGS BANKS. 

21. As from the appointed day there shall be transferred to the 
Irish Government the postoffice savings banks of Ireland and all such 
powers and duties of any department or officer of Great Britain as are 
connected with the postoffice savings banks, trusts of savings banks, 
or friendly societies in Ireland, and the same may be regulated by 
Irish act, the treasury shall publish, not less than six months previous, 
a notice of transfer of the savings banks. If before due transfer any 
depositor of the postoffice savings bank requests his deposit it shall, 
according to his request, be paid to him or transferred to the post- 
office savings bank of Great Britain. After said date the depositors 
of the postoffice savings banks of Ireland shall cease to have any 
claim against the Postmaster General or the consolidated fund of the 
United Kingdom, but shall have a like claim against the government 
of the consolidated fund of Ireland. If before the date of transfer 
the trustees of any trustee savings bank request, then according to 
their request either all sums due them shall be repaid and the savings 
bank closed, or those sums shall be paid to the Irish government, and 
after said date the trustees shall cease from having any claim against 
the national debt commissioners or the consolidated fund of the United 
Kingdom, but shall have a like claim against the government or the 
consolidated fund of Ireland. Notwith tanding the foregoing pro- 
visions, a sum due on account of any annuity or policy of insurance 
which has before the above-mentioned notice been granted through 
the postoffice or a trustee savings bank is not paid by the Irish Gov- 
ernment, that sum shall be [.aid out of the exchequer of the United 
Kingdom. 



IRELAND : MR. GLADSTONE^ HOME RULE BILL. 291 
GOVERNING APPEALS FROM COURT DECISIONS. 

22. Appeal from the courts of Ireland to the House of Lords shall 
cease Where any persons would but for this act have the right to 
appeal from any court in Ireland to the 'House of Lords, such person 
shall have the right to appeal to the Queen in council. The right to 
so appeal shall not be affected by any Irish act. All enactments 
relating to appeal to the Queen in council and the judicial committee 
of the privy council shall apply accordingly. When the judicial com- 
mittee sit in hearing upon appeals from a court in Ireland there shall 
be present not less than four lords of appeal and at least one member 
who is or has been a judge of the Supreme Court of Ireland. The 
rota of privy councilors to sit for the hearing of appeals from courts 
of Ireland shall be made annually by her Majesty in council. The 
privy councilors or some of them on that rota shall sit to hear appeals. 
A casual vacancy in such rota may be filled by order of council. 
Nothing in this act shall affect the jurisdiction of the House of Lords 
to determine claims to Irish peerages. 

TO AVOID CONFLICT OF AUTHORITY. 

23. If it appears to the Lord Lieutenant or the Secretary of the 
State expedient for the public interest that steps be taken for the 
speedy determination of the question whether any Irish act or any 
provision thereof is beyond the powers of the Irish Legislature, he 
may represent the same to her Majesty in council, and thereupon said 
question shall forthwith be referred to and heard and determined by 
judicial committee of the privy Council constituted as if hearing and 
appeal from a court of Ireland. Upon the hearing of the question 
such persons as seem to the judicial committee to be interested may 
be allowed to appear and be heard as parties to this case. The decis- 
ion of the judicial committee shall be given in like manner, as if it 
were a decision on appeal, the nature of the report or recommenda- 
tion to her Majesty being stated in open court. Nothing in this act 
shall prejudice any other power of her Majesty in council to refer 
any question to the judicial committee, or the right of any person to 
petition her Majesty for such reference. 

RELIGION NO BARRIER. 

24. Notwithstanding anything to the contrary in any act, every 
subject of the Queen shall be qualified to hold the office of the Lord 
Lieutenant of Ireland without reference to his religious belief. The 
office of the Lord Lieutenant shall be for the term of six years, with- 
out prejudice to the power of the Queen at any time to revoke the 
appointment. 

25. The Queen in Council may place under the control of the 
Irish Government for the purposes of that government such lands 
and buildings in Ireland as are vested in or held in trust for Her 



A 92 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

Majesty, subject to such conditions or restrictions as may seem expe* 
dient. 

WflEN JUDGES MAY BE REMOVED. 

26. A judge of the Supreme Court, or other superior courts of 
Ireland, or county court, or other court with like jurisdiction ap- 
pointed after the passage of this act, shall not be removed from office 
except in pursuance of an address from the two houses of the legisla- 
ture, nor during his continuance in office shall the salary be dimin- 
ished or the right of pension altered without his consent. 

27. All existing judges of the Supreme Court, County Court 
judges land commissioners in Ireland, and all existing officers serv- 
ing in Ireland in the permanent civil service of the crown, and re- 
ceiving salaries charged to the consolidated fund of the United King- 
dom, shall, if they are removable at present, on address to the houses 
of Parliament, continue removable only upon such address; if remov- 
able in any other manner, they shall cont nue removable only in the 
same manner as heretofore. They shall continue to receive the same 
salaries, gratuities, and pension*, and shall be liable to perform the 
same duties as heretofore, or such duties as her Majesty may declare 
analogous. Their salaries and pensions if, and as far as, not p id out 
of the Irish consolidated fund, shall be paid out of the exchequer of 
the United Kingdom provided this section shall be subject to the 
provisions of the act with respect to exchequer judges. If any of the 
said judges, commissioners, or officers retire from office with the 
Queens approbation before the comp etion of the period of service 
entitling them to a pension, her Maje-ty may, if she thinks it fit, 
grant a pen-ion not exceeding the pension to which they would, on 
the completion of their period of service, have been entitled. 

THE REMAINING CIVIL LIST. 

28. All the existing officers of the permanent civil service of the 
crown who are not above provided for, and at theappoin'ed day serv- 
ing Ireland shall, after that day, continue to hold their offices by the 
same tenure, receive the same salaries, gratuities, and pensions, and 
be liable to perform the same duties as heretofore, or such duties as 
the treasury may declare analogous to their gratuities and pensions, 
and until three years after the passing of the act the sa'aries due to 
any officers, if remaining in the existing office, shall be paid to the 
payee by the treasury out of the exchequer of the United Kingdom. 
Any such officer may after three years from the passing of this act 
retire from office, and shall at any time during those three years if 
required by the Irish government retire from office, and on such 
retirement may be awarded by the treasury a gratuity or pension, 
provided that a six months' written notice shall, unless otherwise 
agreed, be given either by said officer or the Irish government; and 
such a number of officers only shall retire at one time and at such in- 



IRELAND : MR. GLADSTONE'S HOME RULE BILL. 293 

tervals of time as the treasury, in communication with the Irish gov- 
ernment, shall sanction. If any such officer does not so retire the 
treasury may award him after the said three years a pension. The 
gratuities and pensions awarded in accordance with the act shall be 
paid by the treasury to the payees out of the exchequer of the United 
Kingdom. All sums paid out of the exchequer of the United Kingdom 
in pursuance of this section, shall be repaid to that exchequer from 
the Irish exchequer. This section does not apply to officers retained 
by the United Kingdom. 

PENSIONS TO JUDGES. 

29. Any existing" pension granted on account of service in Ireland 
as Judge of the Supreme Court or any court consolidated into that 
court, or as a County Court Judge or any other judicial position, or as 
aa olficer in the permanent civil service of the Crown other than an 
o lice-holder who is after the appointed day retained in the service of 
the United Kingdom, shall be charged on the Irish consolidated fund, 
and if, and as far as, it is not paid out of that fund, it shall be paid 
out of the exchequer of the United Kingdom. 

TO ABOLISH THE CONSTABULARY. 

30. The forces of the Royal Irish constabulary and Dublin metro- 
politan police shall, when and as local police forces are from time to 
time established in Ireland in accordance with the sixth schedule of 
this act, be gradually reduced and ultimately cease to exist as men- 
tioned in the schedule. After the passing of this act no officer or man 
shall be appointed to either of these forces; provided, that until the 
expiration of six years from the appointed day nothing in the act 
shall require the Lord Lieutenant to cause either of said forces to 
cease to exist ; if, as representing the Queen, he considers it expedient 
that the said two forces shall for awhile continue and be subject to 
the control of the Lord Lieutenant, representing her Majesty, and 
the members thereof shall continue to receive the same salaries, 
gratuities, and pensions, and shall hold appointments of the same 
tenure as heretofore; and those salaries, gratuities, pensions, and all 
expenditure incidental to either of the forces shall be paid out of the 
exchequer of the United Kingdom. When any existing member of 
either force retires under the provision of the sixth schedule the 
treasury may award a gratuity or pension, in accordance with the 
schedule, and those gratuities or pensions and all existing pensions 
payable with respect to the service of either force shall be paid by 
the treasury to the payees out of the exchequer of the United King- 
dom, and two-thirds of the net amount payable in pursuance of this 
section out of the exchequer of the United Kingdom shall be repaid 
to that exchequer from the Irish exchequer. 



294: LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

WILL, CHECK THE ACCOUNTS. 

31. Save as may be otherwise provided by Irish act the existing" 
law relating* to the exchequer and the consolidated fund of the United 
Kingdom shall apply with necessary modifications to the exchequer 
and consolidated fund of Ireland. An official shall be appointed by 
the Lord Lieutenant to be the Irish comptroller and auditor general. 

32. Subject as in this act, particularly to the seventh schedule 
of this act, all existing" election laws relating* to the House of Com- 
mons and the members thereof shall, as far as applicable, extend to 
each of the houses of the Irish Legislature and the members thereof, 
but such election laws may be altered in accordance with the Irish 
act, and the privileges, rights, and immunities held and enjoyed by 
each house and the members thereof shall be such as may be defined 
by the Irish act, but so that the same shall never exceed those for the 
time being held and enjoyed by the House of Commons and the mem- 
bers thereof. 

MAY REPEAL PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT. 

33. The Irish Legislature may repeal or alter any provision of 
this act, which is by this act expressly made alterable by that Legis- 
lature; also, any enactments in force in Ireland, except such as either 
relate to matters beyond the powers of the Irish Legislature, or, 
being enacted by Parliament after the passing of this act, may be 
expressly extended to Ireland. An Irish act, notwithsianding it is 
in any respect repugnant to any enactment excepted as aforesaid, 
shall, though read subject to that enactment, be valid except to the 
extent of that repugnancy. An order, rule, or regulation made in 
pursuance of or having the force of an act of Parliament shall be 
deemed to be an enactment within in the meaning of this section. 
Nothing in this act shall affect bills relating to the divorce or mar- 
riage of individuals. Any such bill shall be introduced and proceed 
in parliament in a like manner as if this act was not passed. 

WHEN LOANS MAY BE CONTRACTED. 

34. The local authority of any county or borough or any other 
area shall not borrow money without either the special authority of 
the Irish Legislature or the sanction of the proper department of the 
Irish Government. Such authority shall not, without such special 
authority, borrow, in the case of a municipal borough or town or 
area less than a county any loan, which, together with the then out- 
standing debt of the local authority, will exceed twice the annual 
ratable value of the property of municipal borough, town or area, or, 
in the case of a county or larger area, any loan which, together with 
the then outstanding debt of the local authority, will exceed one- 
tenth of the annual ratable value of the property of the county or 
area, or in any case, a loan exceeding one-half the above limits with- 



IRELAND : MR. GLADSTONE^ HOME RULE BILL. 295 

out local inquiry held in the county, borough or area, by a person ap- 
pointed for the purpose by said department. 

NO LAND LEGISLATION FOR THREE YEARS. 

35. During* three years from the passing* of the act, and if Parlia- 
ment is then sitting" until the end of that session of Parliament, the 
Irish Legislature shall not pass an act respecting the relations of 
landlord and tenant or the sale, purchase, or letting of land gener- 
ally; provided that nothing in this section shall prevent the passing 
of any Irish act with a view to the purchase of land for railways, 
harbors, water works, town improvements, or other local undertak- 
ings. During six years from the passing of the act, the appointment 
of Judges of the Supreme Court or other Superior Court in Ireland, 
other than one of the Exchequer judges, shall be made in pursuance 
of a warrant from Her Majesty. 

36. Subject to the provisions of this act the Queen in council may 
make or direct such arrangements as may seem necessary for setting 
in motion the Irish Legislature and government, and for otherwise 
bringing the act into operation. The Irish Legislature shall be sum- 
moned to meet the first Tuesday in September, 1894. The first elec- 
tion for members of the houses of the Irish Legislature shall be held 
such a time before that day as may be fixed by her Majesty in coun- 
cil. Upon the first meeting of the Legi lature the members of the 
House of Commons, then sitting for Irish constituencies, including 
the members for Dublin University, shall vacate their seats. Writs 
shall, as soon as they conveniently may be, be issued by the Lord 
Chancellor in Ireland for the purpose of holding elections for mem- 
bers to serve in Parliament for the constituencies named in the second 
schedule of this act. The existing Chief Baron of the Exchequer and 
the senior existing puisne Judges of the Exchequer division of the 
Supreme Court, or if they or either of them be dead or unable or un- 
willing to act, such other Judges of the Supreme Court as Her Ma- 
jesty may appoint, shall be the first Exchequer Judges. Where it 
appears to the Queen in council before the expiration of one year 
after the appointed day that any existing enactment respecting mat- 
ters within the powers of the Irish Legislature requires adaptation 
to Ireland, whether, first, by substitution of the Lord Lieutenant in 
council or any department or office of the executive government of 
Ireland for her Majesty in council, the Secretary of State, Secretary 
of the Treasury, Postmaster General, board of inland revenue or any 
other public department or officer of Great Britain; or, second, by the 
substitution of the Irish consolidated fund or moneys provided by 
the Irish legislature for the consolidated fund of the United King- 
dom, or moneys provided by Parliament; or, third, by the substitu- 
tion of confirmation by, or other act to be done by or to the Irish leg- 
islature for confirmation by or other act to be done by or to Parlia- 



296 



LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 



ment; or, fourth, by any other adaptation, her Majesty by order of 
council may make that adaptation. The Queen in council may pro- 
vide for the transfer of such property rights and liabilities and the 
doing" of such other things as appear to her Majesty necessary and 
proper for carrying* into effect this act, or any order in council under 
this act. An order in council under this section may make adapta- 
tion or provide for transfer, either unconditionally or subject to such 
exceptions, conditions or restrictions as may seem expedient. A draft 
of every order in council under this section shall be laid before both 
Houses of Parliament for not less than two months before it is made. 
Such order when made shall be subject as respects Ireland to the 
provisions of the Irish Act, have full effect, but shall not interfere 
with the continued application to any place, authority, person or 
thing not in Ireland, of the enactment to which the order relates. 

37. Except as otherwise provided by this Act, all existing laws, 
institutions, authorities and officers of Ireland, whether judicial, 
administrative or ministerial and all existing taxes for Ireland, shall 
continue as if this Act had not been passed, but with modifications 
necessary for adapting the same to this Act and subject to be repealed, 
abolished, altered of adapted in the manner and not the extent 
authorized by this Act. 

38. Subject as in this Act mentioned, the appointed day for the 
purposes of ihis Act shall be the day of the first meeting of the Irish 
Legislature, or such other — not more than seven months earlier or 
later, as may be fixed by order of her Majesty in council either gener- 
ally or with reference to any particular provision of this Act. Differ- 
ent days may be appointed for different purposes and different 
provisions of this Act. 

First Schedule — Legislative Council constituencies shall consist 
as follows : 

Gal way 2 



Antrim 3 

Armagh 1 

Carlow 1 

Cavan 1 

Clare 1 

Cork, East Riding. .3 
Cork, West Riding.. 1 

Donegal 1 

Down 3 

Dublin 3 

Fermanagh 1 

Boroughs : 
Dublin 2 



Kerry 1 

Kildare 1 

Kilkenny 1 

Kings 1 

Leitrim and Sligo. . 1 

Limerick 2 

Londonderry 1 

Longford 1 

Louth 1 

Mayo 1 



Meath 1 

Monaghan 1 

Queens 1 

Roscommon 1 

Tipperary 2 

Tyrone 1 



Waterford . 
West Meath 

Wexford 

Wicklow 



Belfast 2 Cork 1 






IRELAND t MR. GLADSTONE'S HOME RULE BILL. 



297 



Second Schedule- 
apportioned as follow; 

Antrim 3 

Armagh 2 

Carlow. 1 

Cavan 2 

Clare 2 

Cork 5 

Donegal 3 

Down 3 

Dublin 2 

Fermanagh 1 

Gal way 3 

Boroughs : 

Belfast 4 

Cork 2 

Dublin 4 



Irish members in House of Commons shall be 



Kerry 3 

Kildare 1 

Kilkenny 1 

Kings 1 

Leitrim 2 

Limerick 2 

Londonderry 2 

Longford 1 

Louth 1 

Mayo 3 

Meath 2 

Gal way 1 

Kilkenny 1 

Limerick . .1 



Monaghan 2 

Queens 1 

Roscommon 2 

Sligo 2 

Tipperary 3 

Tyrone . . 3 

Waterford 1 

West Meath 1 

Wexford 2 

Wicklow 1 

Derry 1 

Newry 1 

Waterford 1 



FINANCIAL LIABILITIES. 

Third Schedule — The imperial liabilities shall consist of the 
funded and unfunded debt of the United Kingdom, inclusive of 
terminable annuities paid out of the permanent annual charge for 
the national debt, inclusive of the cost of management of said funded 
and unfunded debt, but exclusive of local loans, stock, and guaranteed 
land stock and the cost of management thereof, and all other charges 
on the consolidated funds of the United Kingdom for the repayment 
of borrowed money or the fulfillment of guaranteed expenditures. 
For the purpose of this act the imper al expenditure shall consist of 
the naval and military expenditure; civil expenditure, that is to say, 
the civil list and royal family salaries, pensions, allowances, inci- 
dental expenses of the Lord Lieutenant of Ireland, exchequer judges 
in Ireland, buildings, works, salaries, pensions, printing, stationery 
allowances, and incidental expenses of parliament; the national debt 
commissioners; foreign office; diplomatic and consular service, includ- 
ing secret service, special service and telegraph subsidies; the Colonial 
office, including special services and telegraph subsidies; the Privy 
Council; Board of Trade; the mint; the meterologic service; the slave 
trade; the service of foreign mails and- telegraphic communication 
with places outside the United Kingdom. The public revenue, to a 
portion of which Ireland may claim to be entitled, consists of revenue 
from these sources : Suez Canal shares; loans and advances to foreign 
countries; annual payments by the British possessions; fees, stamps, 
and extra receipts received by departments, the expenses of which 
are a part of the imperial expenditure; and the smail branches of 
the hereditary revenues from the crown foreshores. 



298 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

PROVISIONS FOR THE POSTOFFICE. 

Fourth Schedule — The Postmaster General shall pay the Irish 
postoffice with respect to foreign mails sent through Ireland, and the 
Irish postoffices shall pay the Postmaster General with respect to 
foreign mails sent through Great Britain such sums as may be agreed 
upon for the carriage of those mails. The Irish postoffice shall pay 
the Postmaster General one-half the expense of the packet service, 
the submarine and telegraph lines between Great Britain and Ireland 
after deducting from lhat expense the sum fixed by the Postmaster 
General as incurred on account of the foriegn mails or telegraphic 
communication with places out of the United Kingdom, and five per 
cent of the expense of conveyance outside the United Kingdom of the 
foreign mails and the transmission of telegrams to places outside the 
United Kingdom. The Postmaster General or the Irish postoffices 
shall pay one to the other of them on account foreign money orders 
as compensation with respect to postal packets such sums as may be 
agreed upon. 

Fifth Schedule— (Blank). 

POLICE REGULATIONS. 

Sixth Schedule — Such local police forces shall be established, 
under such local authorities and for such counties, municipal bor- 
oughs or other larger areas as shall be provided by Irish act. When- 
ever the executive committee of the Privy Council of Ireland shall 
certify to the Lord Lieutenant that a police force adequate for local 
purposes has been established in any area, then he shall within six 
months thereafter direct the Royal Irish Constabulary to be with- 
drawn from the performance of regular police duties in such area. 
Upon any such withdrawal the Lord Lieutenant shall order measures 
to be taken for a proportionate reduction of the members of the Royal 
Irish Constabulary. Upon the executive committee of the Privy 
Council certifying to the Lord Lieutenant that adequate local police 
forces have been established in every part of Ireland, then the Lord 
Lieutenant shall, within six months after such certificate, order 
measures to be taken for causing the whole Royal Irish Constabulary 
force to cease to exist as a police force. Wherever the area in which 
a local police force is established is part of the Dublin metropolitan 
police district, the foregoing regulations shall apply to the Dublin 
metropolitan police. 

Seventh Schedule— Regulations as to the House of the Legisla- 
ture, the members thereof, and the legislative council. There shall 
be a separate register of the electors and councilors of the legislative 
council, which shall be made until otherwise provided by Irish act, in 
like manner with the parliamentary register of electors. Writs shall 
be issued for the election of councilors at such time, not less than one 



IRELAND : MR. GLADSTONE'S HOME RULE BILL. 299 

nor more than three months before the day for the periodical retire 
ment of councillors, as the Lord Lieutenant in council shall fix. 

LEGISLATIVE ASSEMBLY. 

The Parliamentary register for electors for the time being", and 
until otherwise provided by Irish act, shall be the register of electors 
of the legislative assembly. 

BOTH HOUSES. 

Annual sessions of the Legislature shall be held. Any peer, 
whether of the United Kingdom or Great Britain, England, Scotland 
or Ireland, shall be qualified to be a member of either house, but the 
same person shall not be a member of both houses. Until otherwise 
provided by Irish act, if the same person is elected to a seat in each 
house, he shal, before the eighth day after the next sitting of either 
house, elect in which house he will serve. Upon his making such 
election the seat in the other house will be declared vacant. If he 
does not so elect the seats in both houses will be vacant. 

The Lord Lieutenant in council may make regulations for sum- 
moning the two houses of the Legislature of Ireland, and he may 
issue writs, and may do any other thing appearing necessary for the 
election of members of the two houses for the election of a chairman, 
whether called "Speaker," "President," or any other name in each 
house for a quorum of each house, for communications between the 
two houses, and the adaptation to the two houses and the members 
thereof of any laws or customs relating to the House of Commons 
and the deliberation and voting together of the two houses, in cases 
provided by this act. 



CHAPTER XXV. 

THE CHAMPION OF THE GREEKS. 

The Isles of Greece, the Isle of Greece, 

Where burning Sappho loved and sung*; 
Where grew the arts of war and peace, 

Where Delos rose and Phoebus sprung. 
Eternal summer gilds them yet, 
But all except their sin is set. — Lord Byron. 

The crisis in the history of modern Greece stirred the 
heart of Mr. Gladstone to intense excitement and interest. 
In championing the cause of those descendants of the old 
heroic race, Mr. Gladstone has not opened himself in plain 
language concerning the European powers. The message 
is in the form of a letter written to the Duke of West- 
minster. The following is the full text : 

"My Dear Duke of Westminster: — Had we at the pres- 
ent date been in our ordinary relation of near neighborhood 
you would have run no risk of being addressed by me in 
print without your previous knowledge or permission. But 
the present position of the eastern question is peculiar. 
Transactions — such only for the moment I am content to 
call them — have been occurring in the east at short inter- 
vals during the last two years of such a nature as to stir 
our common humanity from its innermost recesses and to 
lodge a trustworthy appeal from the official to the personal 
conscience. Until the most recent dates these transactions 
had seemed to awaken no echo save in England, but now a 
light has flashed at least upon western Europe and an uneasy 
consciousness that nations as well as cabinets are concerned 
in what has been and is going on has taken strong hold upon 
the public mind, and the time seems to have come when 
men should speak or be forever silent." 



100 






THE CHAMPION OF THE GREEKS. 301 

My ambition is for rest, and rest alone. But every grain 
of sand is part of the seashore, and, connected as I have 
been for nearly half a century, with the eastern question, 
often when in positions of responsibility, I feel that inclina- 
tion does not suffice to justify silence. In yielding to this 
belief I keep another conviction steadily in view — namely, 
that to infuse into this discussion the spirit of language of 
party would be to give a cover and an apology to every 
sluggish and unmanly mind for refusing to offer its tribute 
to a common cause, and I have felt that, taking into view 
the attitude you have consistently held in our domestic 
politics during the last decade of years, I can offer to my 
countrymen of all opinions no more appropriate guarantee 
of my careful fidelity to this conviction than, if only by the 
exercise of an unusual freedom, to place the expression of 
my views under shelter of your name. 

It is more easy thus to forego the liberty and license of 
partisanship because it is my firm inward belief that the 
deplorable position which the concerted action or non action 
of the powers of Europe has brought about and maintained, 
has been mainly due, not to a common accord but to a want 
of it; that the unwise and mistaken views of some of the 
powers have brought dishonor upon the whole, and that 
when the time comes for the distribution with full knowl- 
edge of praise and blame, it will not be on the British gov- 
ernment or on those in sympathy with it that the heaviest 
sentence of condemnation will descend. Let us succinctly 
review the situation. 

The Armenian massacres, judiciously interspersed with 
intervals of breathing time, have surpassed in their scale 
and in the intensity and diversity of their wickedness all 
modern, if not all historical experience. All this was done 
under the eyes of six powers, who were represented by their 
ambassadors, and who thought their feeble verbiage a suf- 
ficient counterpoise to the instruments of death, shame, and 



302 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

torture, provided if in framing it they all chimed in with 
one another. Growing in confidence with each successive 
triumph of deeds over words, and having exhausted in Ar- 
menia every expedient of deliberate and wholesale wicked- 
ness, the sultan, whom I have not scrupled to call the great 
assassin, recollected that he had not yet reached his climax. 
It yet remained to show to the powers and their ambassa- 
dors, under their own eyes and within the hearing of their 
own ears, in Constantinople itself, what their organs were 
too dull to see and hear. 

From amid the fastnesses of the Armenian hills to this 
height of daring he boldly ascended, and his triumph was 
not less complete than before. They did, indeed, make 
bold to interfere with his prerogatives by protecting or ex- 
porting some Armenians who would otherwise have swelled 
the festering heaps ci those murdered in the streets of Con- 
stantinople, but as to punishment, reparation, or even pre- 
vention, the world has yet to learn that any one of them 
was effectually cared for. Every extreme of wickedness is 
sacrosanct when it passes in Turkish garb. All comers may, 
as in a tournament of old, be challenged to point to any two 
years of diplomatic history which have been marked by more 
glaring inequality of forces; by more uniform and complete 
success of weakness combined with wrong, over strength 
associated with right, of which it had, unhappily, neither 
consciousness nor confidence; by so vast an aggregation of 
blood-red records of massacre, or by so profound a disgrace 
inliicted upon and still clinging as a shirt of Xessus to col- 
lective Europe. 

All these terrible occurrences the six powers appear to 
treat as past and gone, as dead and buried. They forget 
that everyone of them will revive in history, to say nothing 
of a higher record still, and in proceeding calmly to handle 
those further developments of the great drama which is now 
in progress they appear blissfully unconscious that at every 



THE CHAMPION OF THE GREEKS. 303 

step they take they are treading on the burning cinders of 
the Armenian massacres. 

To inform and sway the public mind amid the disastrous 
confusions of the last two years there have been set up as 
supreme and guiding ideas those expressed firstly in the 
phrase " The Concert of Europe" and secondly " The In- 
tegrity of the Turkish Empire." Of these phrases the first 
denotes an instrument indescribably valuable where it can 
be made available for purposes of good, but it is an instru- 
ment only, and as such it must be tried by the question of 
adaptation to its ends. When it can be made subservient 
to the purposes of honor, duty, liberty and humanity, it 
has the immense and otherwise unattainable advantage of 
leaving the selfish aims of each power to neutralize and de- 
stroy one another, and of acting with resistless force for such 
objects as will bear the light. 

In the years 1876-80 it was the influence of England in 
European diplomacy which principally distracted the con- 
cert of the powers. In determining the particulars of the 
treaty of Berlin, she made herself conspicuous by taking the 
side least favorable to liberty in the last. In that state of 
things I for one used my best exertions to set up a European 
concert. In public estimation it would at least have quali- 
fied our activity in the support of Turkey, which had then 
sufficiently displayed her iniquitous character and policy in 
Bulgaria, though she has since surpassed herself. 

When the ministry of 1880 came into power we made it 
one of our first objects to organize a European concert for 
the purpose of procuring the fulfillment of two important 
provisions of the treaty of 1878, referring to Montenegro 
and to Greece, respectively. Fair and smiling were the 
first results of our endeavors. The forces of suasion had 
been visibly exhausted and the emblems of force were ac- 
cordingly displayed, a squadron consisting of ships of war 
carrying the flags of each of the powers, being speedily 



304 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 






gathered on the Montenegrin or Albanian coast. But we 
soon discovered that for several of the powers " concert of 
Europe" bore a signification totally at variance with that 
which we attached to it, and that it included toy demonstra- 
tions which might be made under a condition that they 
should not pass into reality. 

We did not w^aste our time in vain endeavors to galvanize 
a corpse, but framed a plan for the seizure of an important 
port of the sultan's dominions. To this we confidently be- 
lieved that some of the powers would accede, and in concert 
with these we prepared to go forward. It hardly needs be 
said that we found our principal support in wise and brave 
Alexander II. , who then reigned over Russia. Still less 
need it be specified that there was no war in Europe, though, 
doubtless, this bugbear would have been used for intimida- 
tion, had our proceedings passed beyond the stage of privacy ; 
but the effect was perfect — the effect produced, be it ob- 
served, on Abdul Hamid, on him who has since proved him- 
self to be the great assassin. Our plan became known to 
the sultan, and without our encountering a single serious 
difficulty, Montenegro obtained the considerable extension 
which she now enjoys, and Thessaly was added to Greece. 

But as nothing can be better, nay, nothing so good, 
as the " concert of Europe," w 7 here it can be made to work; 
so, as the best w T hen in its corruption always changes to the 
worst, nothing can be more mischievous than the pretense 
to be working with this tool when it is not really in working 
order. The concert of Europe then comes to mean the con- 
cealment of dissents, the lapse into generalities, and the set- 
tling down upon negotiations at junctures when duty loudly 
calls for positive action. Lord Granville was the mildest 
of men, but mildness may keep company with resolution, 
and we have seen how he dealt with the < ' concert of Europe, " 
Very brief intercommunications enable a man of common 
sense to see in cases where the principles involved are clear, 



THE CHAMPION OF THE GREEKS. 305 

whether there is a, true concert, B'ot the mischief of setting 
up a false one is immense. 

After a most exhaustive discussion of the Avhole matter, 
Mr. Gladstone concludes with the following impressive 
paragraph : 

Let it be borne in mind that in this unhappy business all 
along, under the cover of the "concert of Europe," power 
and speech have been the monopoly of the governments and 
their organs, while the people have been shut out. Give us 
at length both light and air. The nations of Europe are in 
very various stages of their training, but I do not believe 
there is a European people whose judgment, could it be had, 
would ordain or tolerate the infliction of punishment upon 
Greece for the good deed she has recently performed. Cer- 
tainly it would not be the French, who so largely contribu- 
ted to the foundation of the kingdom, nor the Italians, still 
so mindful of what they and their fathers have undergone; 
and, least of all, I will say, the English, to whom the air of 
freedom is the very breath of their nostrils, who have al- 
ready shown in every way open to them how they are mind- 
ed, and who, were the road now laid open to them by a 
dissolution of parliament, would show it by returning a par- 
liament which upon that question would speak with 
unanimity. 

Waiving any further trespass on your time by a repetition 
of apologies, I remain, my dear duke, sincerely yours, 

W. E. Gladstone. 

Chateau Thorene, Cannes, March 13. 



CHAPTER XXVI. 



mr. Gladstone's home life. 



The first sure symptoms of a mind in health, 
Is rest of heart and pleasure felt at home. 

— Edward Young. 

Go into the house. If the proprietor is constrained and defer- 
ring-, 'tis of no importance how large his house, how beautiful his 
grounds, you quickly come to the end of all. But if the man is self- 
possessed, happy, and at home, his house is deep founded, indefinitely 
larg-e and interesting", the roof and dome, buoyant as the sky. — R. W. 
Emerson. 

The home at Ha warden Castle was eminently calculated to 
mould the thoughts and direct the course of an intelligent 
and receptive nature. There was the father's masterful will 
and keen perception, the sweetness and piety of the mother, 
wealth, with all its substantial advantages and few of its 
mischiefs, a strong sense of the value of money, a rigid 
avoidance of extravagance and excess, everywhere a strenu- 
ous purpose in life, constant employment, and concentrated 
ambition. The spirit that ruled was the spirit of simplicity 
itself; not ascetic, not indifference to the good things of the 
world, but alien alike to pomp, ceremony and epicureanism. 
Time was held as a trust to be accounted for minute by min- 
ute. A wilful, purposeless idler would have found himself 
aloof and estranged, as in few other places. Not the head 
of the house alone, but mother, sons and daughters, follow- 
ing his example, found employment to fill the day from an 
early rising to an early bedtime. 

The daily routine of Mr. Gladstone's life at Hawarden 

306 




Mr. Gladstone Beading Prayers in Hawarden Church. 



30^ LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

is well known. The early walk to church before break- 
fast; the morning devoted chiefly to literary work and the 
severer kinds of business and study; half an hour or an 
hour for reading and writing after luncheon; the after- 
noon walk or visit, or tree cutting; correspondence and 
reading after a cup of tea until dinner-time. As a rule, 
Mr. Gladstone read after dinner until about 11:15. He 
occasionally enjoyed a game at backgammon. Of chess 
as a game, he had the very highest opinion, but he found 
it too long and exciting. Music he delighted in, and all 
the members of his family were musical, and two or 
three were performers above the average. His wishes 
in this direction, led the evening to be spent in a sacred 
home concert in which Mr. Gladstone took an earnest 
and interested part. "Bock of Ages," "Lead, Kindly 
Light,'' and u Depths of Mercy," were among his favor- 
ite hymns. 

During the later years Mr. Gladstone's family dis- 
couraged him from cutting down trees. Few forms of 
exercise are more violent and trying to the heart, and at 
Mr. Gladstone's age the risk was considerable. Tree- 
cutting had its dangers, but in his thirty years' experi- 
ence of it, Mr. Gladstone had been fortunate in escaping 
them. The only serious inconvenience he ever suffered 
was from a chip which caused a slight abrasion of the 
eyeball. Once an accident almost occurred. Mr. Henry 
Gladstone had climbed a large lime tree which Gladstone 
had begun to cut, when without any warning, and owing 
to unexpected rot in its center, the tree fell. At the 
moment Mr. Henry was high up, and on the underneath 
side. To the onlooker's relief, he managed to get around 
the trunk as the tree was falling, and escaped with a shak- 
ing. The bough on which he stood was smashed. Mr. 
Gladstone never cut down a tree for the sake of exercise. 
A doubtful tree wrs t:ied judicially. 



MR. (;ladstone\s home life. 309 

When Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone entertained visitors, poli- 
tics were seldom discussed; party politics never, unless in- 
troduced by their guests. This is partly because men of 
opposite sides were not infrequently present, but mainly be- 
cause Mrs. Gladstone considered it desirable that her dis- 
tinguished husband should be relieved of the cares and 
worries of public life, and should breathe in the shelter of 
home a more quiet and serene atmosphere. "I have never," 
says Theodore Stanton, "In any private company, large or 
small, known Mr. Gladstone himself to start a political con- 
troversy. If such is begun by others he manages, as soon 
as possible, to change the subject. 

" Alike as a talker and an orator he is full of resources, 
he draws upon a long and rich experience, having associated 
with some of the greatest statesmen and litterateurs of the 
last sixty years. His conversation is enriched by anecdotes 
and incidents connected with the notable men that he has 
met. He is a great lover of books, and they form one of 
his favorite topics. How varied and world-wide are his 
tastes ! From Homer and Dante to the latest work of fiction 
and romance. Nothing comes amiss to him. I remember 
visiting his official residence in Downing street when he was 
Prime Minister. On the drawing-room table lay 'Silas 
Lapham, ' and i Treasure Island, ' side by side with other 
books of a more solid, but, perhaps, of a less entertaining 
character. Among novelists, Scott is his favorite. He 
considers it a sign of the degeneracy of public taste that 
the ' Wizard of the North ' should be so largely superseded 
by writers of inferior power. In conversation with him on 
one occasion he instituted a comparison between Scott and 
George Eliot rather to the disadvantage of the latter. As 
a warm admirer of George Eliot, I ventured to put in a 
plea for her. I spoke of her deep philosophy, her humor, 
her knowledge of human nature, her graphic descriptions 
of country scenery, life and character^' 



310 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

Mrs. Gladstone's entire life has been passed in the pretty 
village of Hawarden, as she did not consider her residence 
in London to be really living, but merely a concession to 
duties of state. She was born in Hawarden castle, which 
belonged to her father, Sir Stephen Glynne, a baronet of 
a fine old family. She was one of those royal-hearted 
women of whom George Eliot says : 

< ' They the royal-hearted women are, who nobly love the 
noblest, yet have grace for needy suffering lives in lowliest 
places, carrying a choicer sunlight in their smile, the heaven- 
liest ray that pitieth the vile." 

Of the eight children who came to Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone, 
five are now living. Of the sons, two are in England, one 
as rector of the village church in which his father and mother 
were married; the other represented West Leeds in Parlia- 
ment. The third is engaged in commercial pursuits in 
India. One of the daughters is married; while Helen 
Gladstone, named for her father's only sister, who died in 
early womanhood, holds the honorable position of principal 
of Newham College at Cambridge. She is one of the most 
profoundly educated women in England; and the college of 
which she is the head, is one of two founded for the higher 
education of women. Both Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone have 
always been on the most tender and affectionate terms with 
their children. Mrs. Gladstone nursed them all herself. 
She watched their infancy and growing years as religiously 
as for the past thirty-five years she has protected the waking 
and sleeping hours of her husband. She looked after them 
all along, as if she had been the mistress of a humble cottage, 
instead of a lady of a proud castle against which the 
storms of centuries have hurled themselves. When out of 
office, Mr. Gladstone taught his children Italian. The girls 
were educated at home by governesses in English, French 
and German. The boys wore the jackets of Eton, and 
afterward had lodgings in the grounds at Oxford, 




4 /r ' 



Mrs. Gladstone. 



Mrs. Gladstone's social, education and charitable 
plans always met with the hearty approval of her 
husband. Their children were wont to say that he was 
more proud of her than of anything else in the world, 
not excepting his own honor and splendid achievements. 

311 



ol2 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

MR. GLADSTONE AND DOROTHY DREW. 



Mr. Gladstone is a great lover of his grand-children 
They are all his favorites — especially Dorothy Drew. 
She has a nursery at the top of the castle, and a beautiful 
pigeon-house in the park below. On the gracious golden 
wedding day Mr. Gladstone wrote the following charm- 
ing poem to Dorothy Drew: 

AD DOBOTHEAM. 

I know where there is honey in a jar. 
Meet for a certain little friend of mine; 

And. Dorothy, I know where daisies are 
That only wait small hands to entwine 
A wreath for such a golden head as thine 

The i nought that thou an coming" makes all glad: 
The house is bright with blossoms high and low. 

And many a little las-; and little lad 
Expectantly are running to and fro; 
The fire within our hearts is all aglow. 

We want thee, child, to share in our delight 
On this high day, the holiest and best, 

Because 'twas then, ere youth had taken flight. 
Thy grandmamma, of women loveliest, 
Made me of men most honored and most blest. 

That naughty boy who led you \o suppose 
He was thy sweetheart has, I grieve t j tell. 

Been seen to pick the garden's choicest rose 
And toddle with it to another belle. 
Who does not treat him altogether well. 

But mind not that, or let it teach thee this — 

To waste no love on any youthfi 1 r >ver 
(All youths are rovers. I assure thee. Miss): 
• No, if thou wouldst true constan< y discover 

Thy grandpapa is perfect as a lover. 

So come, thou playmate of my closing day, 

The latest treasure life can t if- r me. 
And with thy baby laughing make rs gay. 

Thy fresh young voice shwll i ing. my Dor thy. 

SoDgs that shall bid the feet of sorrow flee. 




Grandpa Gladstone and Dorothy Drew. 



314 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

On the 25th of July, 1889, Mr. and Mrs. Gladstone cele- 
brated their Golden Wedding in the quietude of their moun- 
tain home. On that day Hawarden Castle was invaded 
with kindliest greetings. From every continent of earth 
and from ships that were far out at sea came loving con- 
gratulations. Kings and princes and peers, the sons and 
daughters of toil, " old men and maidens, young men and 
children," — all the world was one that July day in its 
benediction and its prayers. The venerable peasants of 
Hawarden, with their wives, men and women from the cot- 
tages and the fields, and little children in the rosy dawn of 
life, came in goodly companies to pay their reverential 
respect to Mr. Gladstone and his gracious wife, who 
through fifty beautiful years had taught by their devoted 
lives the grand lesson, that — 

'Tis only noble to be good ; 
Kind hearts are more than coronets 
And simple faith that Norman blood. 

England was proud of Mr. Gladstone for his greatness, 
and honored Mrs. Gladstone for her grace; but these sim- 
ple country-folk loved them for their goodness — so deep, 
so gentle and so true. All day long the bells of Hawarden 
rang out the merry chimes, and the hearts of the Hawarden 
people kept time to the music of the bells. 

While the stars burn. 

And the moons increase, 

And the great ages onward roll. 

— H. W. Longfellow. 



My love, when life was young, I knew 
But little what you were to be, 
A light more bounteous to me 

While lengthening shadows grew. 

Have I been silent, love ? or cold ? 
It may be you have little guessed 
All the strong love, half-unexpressed— 

Stronger, as I grew old. 



CHAPTER XXVIL 

"SUNSET AND EVENING STAR." 



Sunset and evening star, 

And one clear call for me ! 
And may there be no moaning* of the bar, 
When I put out to sea. 

But such a tide as, moving, seems asleep, 

Too full for sound and foam, 
When that which drew from the boundless deep 

Turns again home. 

Twilight and evening bell, 

And after that the dark ! 
And may there be no sadness of farewell 

When I embark. 

For tho' from out our bourne of Time and Place 

The flood may bear me far, 
I hope to see my Pilot face to face 

When I have crossed the bar. 



-Lord Tennyson. 



Of all the thoughts of God that are 
Borne inward unto souls afar, 

Along the psalmist's music deep, 
Now tell me if there any is, 
For gift or grace surpassing this — 

" He giveth His beloved sleep"? 
***** 

And friends, dear friends — when it shall be 
That this low breath is gone from me, 
And round my bier ye come to weep, 
Let one most loving of you all, 
Say, — " Not a tear must o'er him fall — 
He giveth His beloved sleep." 

— Elizabeth Barrett Browning. 
315 



31 G LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

Long expected events come suddenly at last. The Eng- 
lish nation, and the world at large, watched for many 
months, with pathetic interest the records of Mr. Glad- 
stone's declining health. It was manifest that in spite of 
his magnificent constitution and of the fidelity with which 
he had obeyed the laws of health, the end of the long, 
illustrious journey was not far away. The sun, and the 
light, and the moon, and the stars, grew dark; the keepers 
of the house began to tremble, and those that looked out 
of the windows were darkened; he rose up at the voice of 
the bird, and the daughters of music were brought sweet 
and low; the almond tree flourished; the silver cord was 
loosened; the majestic golden bowl was growing frail; 
and the pitcher went slowly to the fountain. The blos- 
soms of the May time had made the pastures of Harwar- 
den beautiful. Mr. Gladstone knew the day of his de- 
parture was near, and so one by one he bade his more 
intimate friends farewell. His chief delight and solace 
was in joining in the singing of sacred hymns. "Lead, 
Kindly Light," "Abide with Me," "Son of My Soul," 
and especially "Rock of Ages." The last vesper service 
came. His son Stephen read part of the litany. The 
last conscious effort of his life was in feeble responses to 
its prayers. His utterances grew less and less distinct. 
The litany drew near its close: 

That it may please Thee to defend and provide for the 
fatherless children and widows, and all who are desolate 
and oppressed. 

We beseech Thee to hear us, good Lord. 

That it may please Thee to have mercy upon all men. 

We beseech Thee to hear us, good Lord. 

That it may please Thee to forgive our enemies, persecu- 
tors and slanderers, and to turn their hearts. 

We beseech Thee to hear us, good Lord, 



SUNSET AND EVENING STAR. 317 

That it may please Thee to give to our use the kindly 
fruits of the earth, so that iu due time we may enjoy them. 

We heseech Thee to hear us, good Lord. 

That it may please Thee to give us true repentance; to 
forgive us all our sins, negligence, and ignorance; and to 
endow us with the grace of Thy Holy Spirit, to amend our 
lives according to Thy Holy Word. 

We heseech Thee to hear us, good Lord. 

Son of God, we beseech Thee to hear us. 

Son of God, we beseech Thee to hear us. 

O Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world. 

Grant us Thy peace. 

O Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world. 

Have mercy upon us. 

And then with life's last breath the dying Christian said, 
"Amen!" That was the last utterance of the venerable 
saint. The light began to break through the castle win- 
dows; and in the dawn of a beautiful May morning, the 
spirit of William Ewart Gladstone passed to where ' < beyond 
these voices there is peace." 

On the 25th of May the great statesman was laid to rest 
in Westminster Abbey. In the procession the members of 
the last Liberal Government walked together, followed by 
the representatives of the various members of the Royal 
Family, and these by representatives of the Tsar, the Kings 
of Italy, Denmark, Norway and Sweden, the King of the 
Belgians and the Queen of the Netherlands. Prince Chris- 
tian and the Dukes of Cambridge and Connaught were pres- 
ent in person, and the Queen was represented by the Earl 
of Pembroke. 

Over and around the grave a dais was erected, on which 
the chief mourners took their places. At the foot of the 
grave a chair was placed for Mrs. Gladstone, but the vener- 
able lady, with her daughters and the children, continued 
during the remainder of. the service kneeling or standing. 



318 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

Dean Bradley repeated the customary sentences, while the 
coffin was lowered to its last resting-place, and the aged 
clerk of the works dropped upon it earth from the Garden 
of Gethsemane, the gift of an anonymous friend. 

The Bishop of London, standing at the head of the 
coffin, in ringing tones offered the prayer : 

" Almighty God, with AYhomlive the spirits of just men 
made perfect, we give Thee hearty thanks for the life and 
example of Thy servant, William Ewart Gladstone, whom 
Thou hast been pleased to call from the trials and troubles 
of this world to the realm of eternal rest; and we beseech 
Thee to grant us Thy grace that, as we commit his body to 
the ground, our hearts and minds may be so moved by the 
remembrance of his life and manifold labors for the service 
of mankind, his country, audhis Queen, begun, continued, 
and ended in Thy faith and fear, that we fail not to learn 
the lessons that Thou teachest Thy faithful people, by the 
lives of those who live and serve Thee, through Jesus 
Christ, our only Lord and Savior. 

Aloud heartfelt " Amen" was said by the whole company. 

THE QUEEN'S MESSAGE TO MRS. GLADSTONE. 

My thoughts are much with you to-day when your dear hus- 
band is laid to rest. To-daj^s ceremony will be most trying and 
painful for you, but it will be, at the same time, gratifying" to you to 
see the respect and regret evinced by the nation for the memory of 
one whose character and intellectual abilities marked him as one of 
the most distinguished statesmen of my reign. I shall ever grate- 
fully remember his devotion and zeal in all that concerned my 
personal welfare and that of my family. 

Victoria R. I. 



320 LIFE OF GLADSTONE. 

< ' Rock of Ages " was a favorite hymn with Mr. Glad- 
stone. It was the last hymn he sang. It was sung in West- 
minster Abbey on the occasion of his funeral: 

Rock of Ages! cleft for me, 

Let me hide myself in Thee; 

Let the water and the blood, 

From Thy wounded side which flowed, 

Be of sin the double cure, 

Save from wrath and make me pure. 

Could my tears forever flow, 
Could my zeal no languor know, 
These for sin could not atone. 
Thou must save, and Thou alone 
In my hand no price I bring; 
Simply to Thy cross I cling. 

When I draw this fleeting breath, 
When my eyes shall close in death, 
When I rise to world's unknown, 
And behold Thee on Thy throne, 
Rock of Ages, cleft for me, 
Let me hide myself in Thee. 



it 



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